Michael Dornetshuber

Nick DiCeglie hosting Clearwater fundraiser tonight

Florida Politics

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Republican businessman and Pinellas GOP chair Nick DiCeglie is holding a fundraiser for his House District 66 campaign this evening in Clearwater.

The event is from 5:30 p.m.at Alfano’s Restaurant, 1702 Clearwater Largo Road N. Those interested in attending can give a last-minute RSVP with Rick Porter or Ivey Rooney at 407-849-1112 or Ivey@PoliticalCapitalFlorida.com.

DiCeglie is running for the seat currently held by termed-out Rep. Larry Ahern, who is also on the event’s nearly 80-person host committee, joined by former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, state Sen. Jeff Brandes and state Reps. Chris LatvalaChris Sprowls and Kathleen Peters, as well as other leading Republicans.

In the Aug. 28 Republican primary, DiCeglie defeated St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques and will face Democrat Alex Hereen Nov. 6.

HD 66 is a safe Republican district. It covers part of western Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

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Florida House: Nick DiCeglie wins Republican primary

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Business owner Nick DiCeglie defeated his opponent in the Republican primary for House District 66, which covers a swath of mid-Pinellas County.

DiCeglie, 44, took about 60 percent of the vote Tuesday compared to former prosecutor Berny Jacques’ 40 percent. That means the owner of Solar Sanitation, a garbage pick-up company, will compete against Democrat Alex Heeren in the Nov. 6 general election.

DiCeglie could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Both DiCeglie and Jacques, 31, made their first runs at public office for the seat left open by term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole. Jacques works as development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and was a lawyer before that, first in the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office then in private practice.

DiCeglie grew up on Long Island and moved to Florida in 1996 to help his parents run their family sanitation business, which serves customers in unincorporated Pinellas. He is the current chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party and is a member of the Pinellas County Economic Development Council. He previously served twice as the chairman of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He lives in Indian Rocks Beach with his wife, Erica, and two kids.

Jacques’ family settled in Florida in 1994 after fleeing political unrest in Haiti. He worked as a state prosecutor and private practice attorney before taking on his current role. He is a past president of Pinellas County Young Republicans and started the Young Floridians for Opportunity PAC, a committee made up of young professionals supporting conservative candidates.

He lives in Seminole.

District 66 covers parts of Seminole, Largo and Clearwater as well as beach communities from Indian Shores to Belleair Beach. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

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Joe Gruters backs Nick DiCeglie in HD 66 Republican primary

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Republican Rep. Joe Gruters wants Belleair Bluffs businessman Nick DiCeglie to join him in the state Legislature.

The Sarasota GOP chair, who co-chaired Donald Trump’s Florida campaign, called his Pinellas counterpart a “true conservative leader” when he endorsed him over House District 66 Republican primary rival Bernie Jacques on Thursday.

“As Chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party, Nick worked tirelessly to increase Republican voter registration and improve a grassroots operation that helped turn Pinellas County from blue to red,” Gruters said. “His help was a critical part of helping Donald Trump win Florida in 2016. In fact, President Trump and his campaign had so much confidence in his support that they selected him to be one of Florida’s 29 members of the Electoral College, where he cast a vote for Donald Trump.”

While Gruters’ endorsement isn’t from “the big man himself,” it’s about as close as you could expect for a state House race and could carry some weight among HD 66 voters, who broke plus-14 for Trump two years ago.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Representative Joe Gruters,” DiCeglie said. “He brings a tremendous energy to our party, which proved to pay dividends in the 2016 election. He too is an ardent supporter of our President and his leadership didn’t go unnoticed as Trump named him Florida Co-Chair of his campaign. Rep Gruters and I are like minded individuals who share the same agenda as our President and his support means a great deal.”

Gruters, who is running for state Senate, joins the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Realtors, the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association, Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers, Pinellas County Clerk Ken Burke and many others in backing DiCeglie.

In addition to his leadership role in Pinellas County Republican politics, DiCeglie is the owner and operator of waste management company Solar Sanitation. That part of his resume got the spotlight in his first TV ad, where he said he outlined his plans to “clean things up in Tallahassee.”

DiCeglie and Jacques will go head-to-head in the Aug. 28 Republican primary for the open seat, currently held by term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern. The winner of that contest will face school teacher Alex Heeren, a Democrat, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Jacques, who is also on the airwaves and boasting fresh endorsements, has the advantage in the money race.

At last check in, he had raised $124,260 in hard money and another $81,100 through political committee Protect Pinellas, with about $100,000 banked between them. DiCeglie has raised $132,456 in campaign cash and had a balance of $56,000 on July 20. Heeren has raised $28,000 and has $8,300 banked.

HD 66 is a coastal Pinellas seat covering part of Clearwater as well as Belleair Bluffs, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores and Seminole. It is a safe Republican seat that has been held by Ahern since it was redrawn ahead of the 2012 elections.

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Nick DiCeglie ready to ‘clean things up’ in Tallahassee

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Belleair Bluffs businessman Nick DiCeglie is rolling out his first ad in the race to succeed term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern in Pinellas County’s House District 66.

The 30-second spot, titled “Cleaning Things Up,” is already out digitally and the campaign said it will begin running on cable networks next week. The ad begins with the Pinellas GOP chair on the job with his waste management company Solar Sanitation.

“I’ve made it my business to clean things up in Pinellas County, now it’s time to clean things up in Tallahassee,” he says in the ad before a narrator takes the reins and touts DiCeglie’s conservative credentials.

“Conservative small-business owner Nick DiCeglie knows government must be held accountable. DiCeglie is a Republican leader, husband and father who knows the value of faith, family and service,” the narrator says. “DiCeglie stands with President [DonaldTrump, stopping illegal immigration, cutting taxes and protecting life. DiCeglie, the true conservative who will clean up Tallahassee.”

The ad marks the first TV spot in the three-way race for HD 66, a coastal Pinellas seat that covers part of Clearwater as well as Belleair Bluffs, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores and Seminole.

DiCeglie is running against Seminole attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican primary, while Democrat Alex Heeren, a schoolteacher, has already locked up the Democratic nomination without opposition.

Jacques is the current fundraising leader with more than $200,000 raised for his 2018 effort, including $121,565 in hard money and another $81,100 for his affiliated political committee, Protect Pinellas. He has $139,600 in the bank. DiCeglie is even with Jacques in hard money fundraising with $121,656 raised and $80,406 banked, but he has not started up a political committee.

The pair are also competitive in landing endorsements, though DiCeglie’s stack has some bigger names including the Sun Coast Police Benevolent Association, Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers and Pinellas County Clerk Ken Burke.

The winner of the Republican nomination is likely to succeed Ahern in Tallahassee. He’s held the district since it was redrawn and his closest election was a 6-point win in 2012. He followed that up with a 14-point win in 2014 and a 16-point win in 2016, the same year Trump carried the district with 55 percent of the vote.

The primary election is Aug. 28. The general election is Nov. 6.

The ad is below.

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Pinellas GOP straw poll favors George Buck, Adam Putnam, Ashley Moody, Denise Grimsley

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A straw poll held today by the Pinellas County Republican Party today delivered wins for Gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam, Attorney General candidate Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner candidate Denise Grimsley, while George Buck won the poll for the Congressional race in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

“Pinellas County has a history of picking winners in our straw poll and this year will be no exception,” said Todd Jennings, vice chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party Vice Chair. More than 300 people attended the Straw Poll Picnic at Banquet Masters.

Putnam has come in ahead of Ron DeSantis in five straw polls taken over the past 10 days. He also won straw polls conducted by the Republican Party of Brevard’s Council of Clubs, Central Florida Republican Women’s ClubsCasselberry Chamber of Commerce and Seminole Republican Executive Committee.

Moody won four of those five straw polls, and was in attendance at the Pinellas event.

The poll also showed Gov. Rick Scott as the favorite Republican to take on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

In local races, Buck came out ahead of Brad Sostack as the favorite candidate to take on U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist.

Ed Hooper came out ahead of Leo Karruli in the state Senate District 16 primary.

In state House primaries, straw poll voters picked James Grant over Terry Power in District 64, Nick DiCeglie over Berny Jacques in District 66 and Ray Blacklidge over Jeremy Bailie in District 69.

Kathleen Peters won the GOP straw poll for Pinellas County Commission District 6.

In Pinellas County School Board races, straw poll voters picked Lisa Cane in District 2, Peggy O’Shea in District 3 and Bill Dudley in District 6.

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Nick DiCeglie announces March 23 fundraiser

Florida Politics

March 16, 2018

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Republican Nick DiCeglie is holding a fundraiser for his House District 66 campaign on March 23 in St. Petersburg.

The event is set to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Mayor’s Mansion, 609 11th Ave. South. Those interested in attending can RSVP with Rick Porter at 407-849-1112 or Rick@PoliticalCapitalFlorida.com.

DiCeglie is running for the seat currently held by termed-out Rep. Larry Ahern. He faces St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican Primary.

Through the end of February, the Belleair Bluffs businessman had raised more than $90,000 and had $72,000 of that money on hand in his campaign account.

Jacques, who entered the race six months ahead of DiCeglie, has raised a total of $138,545 and has a little over $100,000 in the bank.

Also running for the seat are Democrat Alex Hereen and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann. Hereen started March with about $5,600 in the bank, while Bachmann has raised $345 since filing in August.

HD 66 is a safe Republican district. It covers part of western Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

The invitation to DiCeglie’s fundraiser is below.

Nick DiCeglie Fundraiser Invitation

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Nick DiCeglie adds $10K for HD 66 campaign in February

Florida Politics

March 13, 2018

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Republican Nick DiCeglie was the top fundraiser in the House District 66 field last month with $10,560 raised.

The February report brings the Pinellas County businessman’s campaign total to $90,354, with $72,216 on hand.

The new money came in across 29 contributions, including a half dozen for the primary campaign maximum of $1,000.

Max donors for the month included ASG Consulting Group, RSG Consulting Group, Florida Farm PAC, FTBA Transportation PAC, LEMA Construction and accounting firm Sams IV.

Expenditures for the month totaled $2,114 and included a $1,000 payment to Jacksonville-based Political Capital for fundraising consulting and a $998 payment to Tallahassee-based Supernova Digital Communications for social media consulting.

Though DiCeglie posted the highest total for the month, he trails Republican primary opponent Berny Jacques in overall fundraising. The pair are competing to take over for termed-out Republican Rep. Larry Ahern.

Jacques added $1,175 in February and spent $8,291 between his campaign and committee, Protect Pinellas.

The St. Petersburg attorney finished the month with $138,545 in total fundraising since entering the race in March 2017, and had $100,701 in the bank.

Jacques’ February money came in through seven contributions, all to his campaign. Top contributors for the reporting period included Samuel Bright and Sandra Hutton, each of whom gave $500.

Spending included more than $7,000 in payments to Gainesville-based Data Targeting Research for printing and consulting work, with $700 paying for accounting costs through Robinson Hanks Young & Roberts and $500 heading to campaign staff.

Also running for HD 69 are Democrat Alex Hereen and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann.

Hereen raised $3,556 in February and spent $3,939, leaving him with about $5,600 in the bank, while Bachmann reported just $345 in contributions since filing for the seat in August.

HD 66 is a safe Republican district. It covers part of western Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

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Nick DiCeglie hosting March Madness fundraiser

Florida Politics

March 5, 2018

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State House candidate Nick DiCeglie is holding a fundraiser during the height of March Madness, and attendees are encouraged to wear some flair for their favorite team, be it an alma mater or a Cinderella.

The fundraiser is slated for 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Angry Pepper Taphouse in Seminole, 9366 Oakhurst Road.

Attendees are encouraged to wear the logo of their favorite tournament team, so those on the bubble may need to wait until after Selection Sunday to pick out their attire.

DiCeglie’s invite didn’t say what logo he’ll be wearing, the invite did list his March Madness team, which includes Carol BumillerDiane BlumJanice HillCarol WilliamsAnn MullerDiane Nelson and Mary Erickson-Tweiten.

Those looking to attend can RSVP by emailing rick@politicalcapitalflorida.com.

While aren’t set for March Madness, voters have a little bit better of an idea of who’ll be facing off in the House District 66 race.

DiCeglie, a Republican, is running for the coastal Pinellas County seat currently held by termed out Republican Rep. Larry Ahern.

He faces St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the GOP primary for HD 66, while Democrat Alex Heeren and Reform Party candidate Paul Bachmann are so far uncontested in the primary.

The winner of the Republican Primary will be the undisputed No. 1 seed in the general election – HD 66 has is a safe Republican seat.

Through the end of January, Jacques held the fundraising lead with nearly $108,000 on hand between his campaign account and political committee, Protect Pinellas.

DiCeglie, who runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation, had about $64,000 on hand in his campaign account through the same date.

The invitation is below.

DiCeglie Fundraiser 3.15.18

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Pinellas County clerk endorses Nick DiCeglie for HD 66

Florida Politics

February 26, 2018

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Republican Nick DiCeglie announced Monday that Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Ken Burke has endorsed his campaign for House District 66.

“Nick has all the qualities to make for an outstanding legislator,” Burke said. “He is a leader in his community and church. He is a good father and husband. He is the owner of a successful business.

“All of these attributes are needed to make the right decisions for the future of Florida. Our State needs independent thinkers like Nick to serve in the Florida Legislature. It is my honor to be counted among his supporters.”

DiCeglie is running for the Pinellas County seat currently held by termed-out Republican Rep. Larry Ahern. He faces St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the GOP primary.

“I’m honored to have the support of Ken Burke,” DiCeglie said in a press release. “Ken is a well-respected leader within our party and to many throughout Pinellas County. I appreciate his guidance and look forward to working together on policies that protect our conservative values for the future of our community and our state.”

Through the end of January, Jacques held the fundraising lead with nearly $108,000 on hand between his campaign account and political committee, Protect Pinellas.

DiCeglie, who runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation, had about $64,000 on hand in his campaign account through the same date.

Also running for the seat are Democrat Alex Heeren and Reform Party candidate Paul Bachmann.

HD 66 is a safe Republican district. It covers part of western Pinellas County, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores.

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