Former UMA Board Member Brian Scott won his spot on the Pinellas County Commission on Tuesday. It was a clear victory for the first-time candidate and president of Escot Bus Lines.
“I am honored to receive the trust of Pinellas County taxpayers to represent their interests on the County Commission,” said Scott. “I’m excited to use my experience as a business owner and community advocate to keep our neighborhoods affordable, beautiful, safe and prosperous. In this era of inflation and rampant government spending, local families deserve policies that allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money. I’m ready to accomplish that and so much more, and I can’t wait to get to work.”
Scott’s win in Pinellas County Commission District 2 returns control of the commission to Republicans for the first time in eight years. With almost all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Scott led incumbent Democrat Pat Gerard by a margin of 54% to 46%, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The publication noted the candidates shattered fundraising records for a Pinellas commission race. His opponent was a former Largo mayor who was first elected to the commission in 2014.
Emphasized his business experience
With roughly a million people, Pinellas County — part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region — is one of the most densely populated in Florida. That’s why Scott launched his campaign more than a year before the election. He took advantage of being the only candidate with a fleet of motorcoaches to use one as his eye-catching campaign bus.
During his campaign, Scott positioned himself as a political outsider with business experience who would advocate for more efficient spending and lower taxes. He also said he was compelled to run in response to the policies the county put in place early in the COVID-19 pandemic, such as beach closures and mask mandates, that hurt businesses.
He highlighted his experiences with public administration and government. In serving as Director of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and President of the Florida Motorcoach Association as well as testifying before Congress twice, Scott said he has gained a deep understanding of public service and business advocacy.
Before running for office, Scott has been an advocate for the industry. He has volunteered his service as a member of the United Motorcoach Association’s (UMA) Board of Directors, Chair of the UMA Legislative & Regulatory Committee, UMA Chair, President of the Florida Motorcoach Association and Chair of the International Motorcoach Group.
In his community, Scott has served on four boards, most notably for six years on the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Board of Directors. Of the 15 members of the transit board, he was the only one with transportation experience, he said.
All that experience convinced him that he has a lot to bring to the table in the local government arena. He believes his business experience gives him a practical understanding of how to get more done in local government efficiently and less expensively.
Scott’s family-owned business, which launched in 1943, operates throughout Florida. Scott has overseen substantial growth, including the expansion of the business into Sarasota and Orlando and more than doubling the number of employees.