A Florida operator’s political campaign is on a roll. Brian Scott has turned one of his motorcoaches into a billboard for his Pinellas County Commission candidacy, and it’s generating a lot of attention.
“It’s been extremely well-received. It’s the buzz locally and in the local political circles. Everybody’s talking about it,” said Scott, President of Escot Bus Lines in Largo, Florida.
When Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis had a press conference at an American Legion facility in Scott’s county, the candidate wisely took his campaign bus and parked it outside.
“There were probably 200 people in there, and 20 of them come up and comment on the bus,” Scott said. “The governor had to drive right by, coming in and going out.”
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 November 2022 election and is being strategic about his campaign.
Before running for public office, Scott has taken an advocacy role on behalf of the industry. He has volunteered his time and 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 (IMG).
In his community, Scott has served on four boards, most notably 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, as the owner of a successful transportation company, he has a lot to bring to the table in the local government arena. He believes his business experience gives him practical understanding and perspective on how to get more done in local government, efficiently and less expensively.
Not surprisingly, Scott is thoughtful about when he uses his coach. He considers the parking space options and if the bus is needed for clients.
“I am a candidate but I’m also a capitalist, so we’re keeping the bus primarily within the county because it’s a countywide race. It’s out getting votes as we speak,” he said. “As bus operators, we have rolling billboards so we might as well use it.”
Plenty of publicity
Scott worked with Budget Truck & Auto Inc., which helped him design the billboard, which features his logo and his picture.
The bus provides a lot of publicity, along with the 1,500 yard signs he’s distributing across the county. Campaigning comes down to name recognition.
He’s had several candidates inquire about getting their message on a bus. But Scott isn’t about to give up this advantage.
“When I’m not on the ballot, then we can talk about that. This year is all about my campaign.”
His success is a good reminder for the industry about the value of their coaches’ exteriors.
“Put it to good use,” he advised.