State Rep. Larry Ahern files to run for Pinellas County Commission
While the Florida Legislature is still in session, one Pinellas lawmaker is already eyeing another job.
State Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, filed paperwork this week to run for the Pinellas County Commission District 6 being vacated next year by commissioner John Morroni.
Ahern won reelection for the third time in November to the Florida House in a rematch against Democratic opponent Lorena Grizzle. This will be his fourth and final term in the House.
Ahern made recent headlines when he allowed the then-executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board to craft new legislation that would make the nomination process more transparent.
Ahern spiked the bill hours after the Tampa Bay Times asked about the proposed legislation.
The move came after executive director Rodney Fischer, whom a county commissioner suspected of submitting those fake nominations, announced his retirement on Jan. 31 after the Times reported about issues with how he managed the agency and how it treated customers and disciplined contractors during his tenure.
Ahern's bid for the seat is similar to the path that Morroni took to the commission. He served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1992 to 2000. The Treasure Island Republican was elected to the County Commission's District 6 seat in 2000 and chaired the board in 2005, 2012 and 2015. He announced in March that he would end his political career next year.
Commissioners Janet Long and Charlie Justice also served in the Florida Legislature before joining the commission.