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Second Republican to challenge Pat Gerard on Pinellas County Commission

Brian Scott, president of Escot Bus Lines, announced his campaign on Wednesday.
Brian Scott, president of Escot Bus Lines, announced his campaign for the at-large District 2 seat on the Pinellas County Commission, challenging incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard.
Brian Scott, president of Escot Bus Lines, announced his campaign for the at-large District 2 seat on the Pinellas County Commission, challenging incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard. [ BRANDI IMAGE PHOTOGRAPHY | Brian Scott Campaign ]
Published Sep. 1
Updated Sep. 1

A second Republican has filed for the at-large District 2 seat on the Pinellas County Commission to challenge incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard in the November 2022 election.

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

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

“Now is the time to advocate for real-world 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,” Scott said.

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

He joins Debbie Buschman in the Republican primary. The at-large seat is voted on countywide in the general election.

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

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

Gerard served as chairperson of the commission in 2020, leading officials through 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 face reelection next year.

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