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Gerard defeats incumbent, wins seat on Largo City Commission

The retired advertising executive and journalist won his first run at public office with 54 percent of the vote.
Eric Gerard beat incumbent Curtis Holmes in the Largo City Commission race, according to unofficial results.
Eric Gerard beat incumbent Curtis Holmes in the Largo City Commission race, according to unofficial results. [ Courtesy of Eric Gerard ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 4, 2020

Eric Gerard won his first run at public office Tuesday night to take a seat on the Largo City Commission, according to unofficial results. He won 54 percent of the vote.

“I’m looking forward to going to work on the commission and working with the other commissioners,” Gerard said Tuesday night from his home. “I think we have a great commission here in Largo and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Gerard said his family was celebrating with a Carvel ice cream cake they bought at Publix earlier today.

Gerard, 68, is a retired advertising executive and journalist making his first run for public office. He currently serves as the vice chair of the Largo Planning Board. Gerard faced off against incumbent Curtis Holmes, who has served on the Largo City Commission since 2009.

Gerard has run on a platform of affordable housing, sustainability and extending the reach of Largo’s leadership throughout the region. He said he aims to bring “open-mindedness and respect” to the commission. Gerard is also vice chair of the Largo Planning Board and has previously served as president of the Greater Largo Library Foundation.

During his campaign, Gerard garnered strong financial support from across Pinellas County. As of Oct. 16, he had raised $71,405. Holmes raised $31,589 by the same date.

Holmes, 71, is an insurance agent who owns First Southeast Insurance Services. He said he prides himself on his fiscal conservatism and claims to have saved Largo’s taxpayers millions of dollars since he took office. While commissioner, he served on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority board of directors in 2014, and as the commission liaison on the Largo Library Advisory Board in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

Holmes points to his success at changing the length of Largo commission terms from three years to four years to cut down on election costs incurred by the city as evidence of his ability to save taxpayer money.

Largo city commissioners are elected for four-year terms with no term limits, and are paid $16,065 a year. Largo is the fourth-largest city in Tampa Bay with over 83,000 residents, and is located in the center of Pinellas County.

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