Brian Aungst Jr. announces he will not seek commission seat
Though many expected him to run, Brian Aungst Jr., son of the former Clearwater mayor, will not be a candidate for the North Pinellas seat on the county commission this Nov.
It seemed almost inevitable that Aungst, a 29-year-old lawyer with the firm Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen in Clearwater, and the local GOP’s legal counsel, would run. And as recently as Tuesday night, Republican leaders were suggesting he would be in the running for the District 4 seat.
There are already nine candidates in the race to replace outgoing Commissioner Susan Latvala, and none has the full-throated endorsement of the Republican Party establishment (yet) or has raised a significant amount of money (yet). Aungst was positioned to do both.
But on Thursday Aungst emailed to say he’s staying out of the race. His announcement is below:
Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and counseled me over the last two months. I am honored and extremely humbled by the tremendous support I have received from across Pinellas County and the region encouraging me to run for County Commission District Four. Many of you know that I have always felt an overwhelming call to public service. As a product of Pinellas County’s public schools, Secretary of the Juvenile Welfare Board, and a husband helping raise a young daughter here, I am passionate about quality early learning and education in our County. As Chair-Elect of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, and an attorney representing some of the largest employers in Pinellas County, I am actively committed to job growth and economic development.
My highest professional responsibility is to the people and businesses I represent. After thoughtful reflection and prayer, my wife Cary and I have determined that this is not the right time for me to seek elected office. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the citizens of Pinellas County in a variety of volunteer public service positions. In the years to come, Cary and I will continue to be actively involved in helping create a more prosperous Pinellas for all of its citizens.
Thank you again and God Bless you, Brian