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HD 66 hopeful Berny Jacques starts strong, raises nearly $30K in March

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Berny Jacques raised $29,740 in March, the first month of fundraising after launching a 2018 bid for Pinellas County’s House District 66.

Contributors to the former Pinellas County Assistant State Attorney’s campaign include former Jeb Bush staffer Slater Bayliss, GOP fundraiser Brent Sembler, local Republican heavyweight Jim Holton, Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chair Mike Griffin and Fritz Brogan, former Executive Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Rick Scott.

Jacques also picked up an endorsement from another local Pinellas County official, Largo City Commissioner Jamie Robinson.

“I have had the opportunity to speak with Berny over the past couple of weeks regarding his candidacy,” Robinson said. “He has shown great concerns for the residents of the district. His honesty and willingness to listen to the people’s problems [are] commendable. I am looking forward to working together with him to help continue enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Largo.”

Jacques said he was honored by the endorsement.

“Commissioner Robinson is someone who truly cares about the people of Largo,” he said. “My history with the City of Largo goes back to my time as a state prosecutor where I worked with the Largo Police Department to address crime in the city. To have a city leader like Commissioner Robinson on our team is truly humbling.”

Currently occupying the HD 66 seat is term-limited Republican Larry Ahern of Seminole.

Nick DiCeglie, who serves as chair of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee, is also considering a run for the seat next year. However, he has yet to officially file.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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