Brian Aungst Jr., son of the former Clearwater mayor, will not run for the open Pinellas County Commission District 4 seat in 2014.
Nine candidates are in the running to replace retiring Commissioner Susan Latvala, but few have the Republican bona fides of the 29-year-old Aungst, a lawyer with the Clearwater-based Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen law firm, as well as legal counsel for the local Republican Party.
Aungst is also a gubernatorial appointee to the Juvenile Welfare Board and is widely considered one of the Pinellas GOP’s rising stars.
Aungst emailed supporters Thursday to explain his decision:
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.