Second Republican to challenge Pat Gerard at Pinellas County Commission

A second Republican has asked the Pinellas County Commission for District 2 general seat to challenge incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard in the November 2022 election.

Brian Scott, president of the charter bus company Escot Bus Lines, founded by his parents in 1983, announced his campaign against Gerard on Wednesday.

Scott, 53, said in a statement that he had had to fight to keep his family and business alive during the coronavirus pandemic and that he wanted to bring “that same determination to the Pinellas County Commission”.

“Now is the time to advocate for concrete policies that foster a thriving small business community, improve public health and safety, and preserve the unique quality of life we ​​enjoy in Pinellas County,” said Scott.

Scott previously served on the boards of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Advisory Board.

He joins Debbie Buschman in the Republican primary. The general seat is voted throughout the county in general elections.

Buschman, 52, is the lunch coordinator for Pinellas County Public Schools and previously worked as a tax assistant for the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s Office. She was elected to the Palm Harbor District Fire and Rescue Special Commission in 2012.

Gérard, 71, has not yet applied but has confirmed with the Tampa Bay Times she plans to run for a third term. Prior to his election to the commission in 2014, Gerard served 14 years on the City of Largo Commission, the last eight as the city’s first female mayor.

Gérard served as chairman of the commission in 2020, leading those responsible during the coronavirus pandemic and the mask mandate that was in place for 11 months to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Along with Gerard, District 4 Commissioner Dave Eggers and District 6 Commissioner Kathleen Peters will be re-elected next year.

Peters, a Republican, has applied for a second term and has so far not attracted a challenger. Eggers, a Republican, confirmed he plans to run again. No other candidate has so far applied.

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