Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch's re-election bid started with an $11,000 fund-raising haul, Welch said Monday.
And it came with some big names as he begins a race against Democrat Maria Scruggs and Republican William "Buck" Walz in his southern Pinellas district race.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist was on hand Thursday, as was St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, a Republican who has backed Welch in the past. Scott Wagman introduced him. Other attendees former state Sen. Charlie Justice (who, we're told, is moving toward a bid for County Commission), and St. Pete Council members Charlie Gerdes and Karl Nurse. Also, dentist Johnny Johnson of Palm Harbor, who was dismayed by the county's recent decision to stop adding fluoride to drinking water.