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Jacques, DiCeglie Announce Local Endorsements in HD66 Race

Sunshine State News

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The race for Florida’s 66th House District continues to heat up as candidates gather endorsements in their quests to head to Tallahassee.

On Tuesday, political newcomer Berny Jacques announced the endorsement of City of Seminole Council Member James Quinn. Quinn, a former Navy Radioman, has served on the council since 2016.

“Berny is a person who cares and he will make the best decisions and protect all he plans to serve,” said Quinn. “My endorsement for Berny is based on observing him serve our community as a member of the City of Seminole Developmental Review Board and as a member of the Sheriff’s Advisory Board.”

Jacques called the endorsement an “honor.”

“[Quinn] is someone who fights daily for the residents of our city and I look forward to bringing the same fighting spirit to Tallahassee when representing the people of House District 66,” Jacques said.

Jacques and Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee chair Nick DiCeglie have both declared their candidacies for the HD66 seat, running to replace Rep. Larry Ahern, who faces term limits.

DiCeglie, too, has picked up several local endorsements for the seat. This week Largo Mayor Woody Brown and Commissioner Curtis Holmes both gave DiCeglie the thumbs up for the job.

Jacques currently has more cash on hand than DiCeglie, who announced his candidacy in September. According to state reports, Jacques has raised $133,000 and has over $106,000 cash on hand while DiCeglie has raised nearly $73,000 and has $59,000 cash on hand.

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Nick DiCeglie’s fundraising outpaces Berny Jacques’ in HD 66 primary

Florida Politics

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One of the most competitive Republican primaries in Tampa Bay is the race for the House District 66 seat being vacated by Seminole Republican Larry Ahern. 

Pinellas GOP Chairman Nick DiCeglie is taking on St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques. Jacques entered the race early last year, and has raised a total of $133,000 for his bid – $91,354 in his own campaign coffers, and an additional $42,000 in his PAC, Protect Pinellas.

However, for most of 2017 he was the only man running in the race. As the first-in candidate he raised nearly $30,000 for his campaign in its opening month, but followed that early success with middling campaign reports until his opponent filed. DiCeglie has outraised Jacques since entering the race, but Jacques’ best fundraising report since his first came after DiCeglie entered.

DiCeglie, who runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation, entered the race late last summer and has now raised $72,714 after taking in 8,990 in December. The sum of his four campaign finance reports show him with $59,427 on hand at the start of year.

Jacques raised $4,420 for his campaign account in December and added no contributions to his political committee. He finished the year with $106,302 cash on hand.

In addition to making strides on the campaign finance front, DiCeglie has been able to pull in some major endorsements for his campaign, including a nod from former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Seminole Vice Mayor Chris Burke, who had endorsed Jacques before pulling an about face and throwing his support behind DiCeglie.

A Democrat, Pinellas educator Alex Heeren, entered the contest earlier this week, but HD 66 is reliably Republican with about 10,000 more registered GOP voters than registered Democrats. Ahern has comfortably won each of his three elections in the district and the district’s next representative will more than likely come down to the Jacques v. DiCeglie primary.

Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann is also in the contest. He did not bring in any money in December, and has only raised $345 to date.

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Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters endorses Nick DiCeglie for HD 66

Florida Politics

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Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters is backing Nick DiCeglie in his bid for House District 66.

DiCiglie, who has been Pinellas County Republican Party Executive Committee chair since 2014, is seeking the seat of state Rep. Larry Ahern, a Seminole Republican term-limited in 2018. He is facing Berny Jacques in the GOP primary.

“Nick will bring to the Florida House of Representatives, great business and leadership skills,” said Waters, a former Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Florida House. “I know he will be a serious and conscientious legislator, who will represent the interests of business, education and families of House District 66.”

Waters is a Gulfport native who has lived in Seminole since 1979; she served in the House between 1998 to 2006, with her last term as Speaker Pro-Tempore. A graduate of Boca Ciega High School, Waters received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida State University. She is also founder of Leslie Waters Government Relations consulting firm, and works as an adjunct professor of political science.

“I’m honored to have the support of a leader like Mayor Leslie Waters,” said DiCeglie. “She’s had success in business and been a dedicated public servant to our community at both the state and local level for many years. Mayor Waters and I share the same conservative values and vision for the future of Pinellas county — I’m glad to have her on our team.”

Since announcing his HD 66 campaign, DiCelgie — who has owned Solar Sanitation, a Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company, since 2001 — raised more than $60,500 through Oct. 31, according to the Division of Elections website. He has nearly $58,000 in cash-on-hand. Jacques, his opponent, has been raising funds since March, and has collected just under $87,000 through Oct. 31, with $70,000 on hand.

In addition, Jacques — by way of “Protect Pinellas,” his associated committee — raised $42,000 through Nov. 30, with a little more than $35,000 on hand. For the month of November, Jacques’ campaign announced raising a total of $24,025, with $10,000 coming from Protect Pinellas and $14,025 raised in his campaign account.

DiCelgie moved to Florida in 1996, and is now living in Indian Rocks Beach with his wife Erica and their two children, Livia and Carlo. He is active in the community, serving two terms as chair of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and as a member of the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Board for six years. DeCelgie, named an Up & Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2011, is also a member of the Pinellas County Economic Development Council.

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Will Weatherford backs Nick DiCeglie for Florida House

Florida Politics

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Republican Nick DiCeglie, who is running to replace termed-out Rep. Larry Ahern in Pinellas-based HD 66, picked up an endorsement from former House Speaker Will Weatherford Tuesday.

“I’m proud to endorse Nick DiCeglie in his campaign for the Florida House. He has a great story to tell – from his humble childhood, helping his parents grow their family business, to being a successful small business owner himself,” Weatherford said.

When it comes to creating jobs for Florida families, he truly understands pro-business policies work and overregulation and red tape do not. I look forward to seeing the great things he will continue to do for his community as a member of the Florida House.”

The HD 66 Republican primary pits DiCeglie against Berny Jacques, an attorney at the St. Petersburg law firm of Berkowitz and Myer who previously served as an assistant state attorney in Pinellas County. The district covers part of Pinellas, including Clearwater, Belleair, Indian Shores and Indian Rocks Beach, where DiCeglie lives.

Since entering the race, DiCeglie has taken some momentum from Jacques. Most notably, Seminole Vice Mayor Chris Burke endorsed DiCeglie last month, tacitly retracting his endorsement of Jacques over the summer.

Still, Weatherford’s endorsement is by far the biggest to-date for either of the two Republicans.

“I’m honored to have the support of Speaker Weatherford. He is a principled conservative that knows how to get things done. His work as Speaker and in the private sector has made our state a better place to live, work and raise a family and I look forward to the opportunity to follow his example of effective service and leadership,” DiCeglie said.

DiCeglie filed to run for HD 66 in September, though he made his intentions known much earlier.

In addition to serving as the current chair of the Pinellas County Republican Party, DiCeglie runs solid waste collection business Solar Sanitation.

He has also chaired the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce for two terms, was a gubernatorial appointee to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, and was a member of the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Board for six years.

Jacques was the first-in candidate, but after a stellar opening month where he raised nearly $30,000 for his campaign, he posted middling campaign reports until DiCeglie filed.

Last month, the campaign began in earnest with both Jacques and DiCeglie holding “campaign kickoff” events a week apart.

For October, DiCeglie posted more than $30,000 for his campaign for the second month in a row, while Jacques tacked on a combined $26,000 through his campaign and committee accounts, putting him past the $100,000 mark in total fundraising.

Though DiCeglie is gaining ground in the money race, his $58,000 on-hand total trails Jacques’ $84,000 cash on hand – $57,000 in his campaign account and $27,000 in his committee, Protect Pinellas.

Also running for the seat is Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann, who filed in August. He hasn’t uploaded his October numbers yet, though his first two months on the trail didn’t bring any contributions or expenditures.

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Nick DiCeglie releases host committee for Oct. 12 fundraiser

Saint PetersBlog

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Republican Nick DiCeglie is holding a fundraiser next week to get his House District 66 campaign off the ground, and Tuesday he released a host committee showing dozens of local officials who will come to show their support.

The Oct. 12 event is set to run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Bellair Country Club, 1 Country Club Lane, Bellair.

Included in the invitation was a list of the host committee, which features more than 50 officials who are on board to help the Pinellas County Republican Party Chairman hit the ground running in his primary race against Berny Jacques.

Among the names are Sens. Jeff Brandes and Jack Latvala, HD 69 Rep. Kathleen Peters, former Pinellas GOP Chair Jay Beyrouti, Pinellas County Commissioner Dave EggersJohn Morroni and Karen Seel as well as former Commissioner Neil Brickfield, among many others.

Since 2001, DiCeglie has owned and operated Solar Sanitation, Inc., a waste management company that in 2011 was named the “Medium Business of the Year” by the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.

The businessman’s resume includes two terms as chair of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, a gubernatorial appointment to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and six years on the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Board.

DiCeglie announced his HD 66 bid last month and was the second GOP candidate to file after Jacques. The district is currently held by Republican Rep. Larry Ahern, who can’t run for re-election next year due to term limits.

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Nick DiCeglie Jumps in GOP Race to Replace Larry Ahern

Sunshine State News

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The Republican field to replace state Rep. Larry Ahern in Florida’s House District 66 just got a little bit more crowded. On Tuesday, Pinellas County Republican Party chair Nick DiCeglie formally announced his candidacy for the seat, which covers parts of Pinellas County including the Seminole area.

DiCeglie, a staple in the Pinellas GOP community, has served as party chair since 2014 and currently heads up a solid waste collection company in Pinellas County.

DiCeglie pointed to his experience as a business owner as part of the reason why he was running for the seat.

“As a small business owner, I know firsthand how excessive government regulation and red tape hinders economic freedom and jobs for hardworking Florida families,” he wrote. “In order to be effective and get things done, we need a leader in Tallahassee with real world experience that will fight for the conservative principles our country was founded on – individual liberty and a Republic that is smaller and smarter than it is today.”

DiCeglie currently lives in Indian Rocks Beach but has spent more than 20 years in the Sunshine State, diving headfirst into local politics since his arrival from New York.

The Pinellas County Republican served two terms as chair of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and was appointed by the governor to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

DiCeglie also served as one of Florida’s 99 delegates for the presidential election last year.

He will run in the GOP primary to replace state Rep. Larry Ahern, who faces term limits next year.

DiCeglie’s only primary competitor so far is lawyer Berny Jacques, who announced his bid for the seat in March.

Jacques, a newcomer to Florida politics, welcomed DiCeglie to the race Tuesday.

“Our campaign is focused on sharing our conservative vision to protect Pinellas county values and our way of life,” he told Sunshine State News. “We look forward to the spirited campaign ahead.”

Jacques has currently raised over $76,000 between his campaign account and his political committee Protect Pinellas. In August, the campaign team raised over $10,000 in hard dollars.

Another candidate, Paul Bachmann, is also vying for the seat under the Reform Party banner, but the seat is strongly Republican so it is likely either DiCeglie or Jacques — or another GOP contender — would take the nomination for HD66.

 

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Respected Republican leader Nick DiCeglie announces HD 66 run

Saint Petersburg Blog

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Pinellas County Republican Party Chairman Nick DiCeglie says he’s entering the 2018 race for House District 66.

DiCeglie, who announced his candidacy in a Tuesday press release, joins Berny Jacques in the GOP primary for the western Pinellas County seat, which covers Clearwater, Indian Shores and Largo.

The current HD 66 officeholder – state Rep. Larry Ahern, a Seminole Republican – is term-limited next year.

DiCeglie, a Long Island native, has been active with the Pinellas GOP since 2009 and has been its chair since 2014.

Since 2001, he’s been the co-owner of Solar Sanitation, a solid waste collection company serving Pinellas residents since 1980. In 2011 it was named “Medium-Sized Business of the Year” by the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.

“Growing up working in a family business taught me the value of a dollar and hard work at an early age,” DiCeglie said. “Since then, I’ve spent my entire life in the private sector, growing a small business and serving our community in any way I can.”

DiCeglie has lived in the Sunshine State for more than 20 years and currently resides in Indian Rocks Beach with his wife Erica and their two children.

“As a small business owner, I know firsthand how excessive government regulation and red tape hinders economic freedom and jobs for hardworking Florida families,” he added.

“In order to be effective and get things done, we need a leader in Tallahassee with real world experience that will fight for the conservative principles our country was founded on: Individual liberty and a Republic that is smaller and smarter than it is today. I look forward to the opportunity to be that leader for our community.”

The businessman’s resume includes two terms as chair of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, a gubernatorial appointment to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, and six years on the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Board. He’s currently on the Pinellas County Economic Development Council.

Jacques, who filed back in March, has raised about $55,000 for his campaign and has $45,000 of that money on hand in his campaign account, records show.

Also vying for the seat is Reform Party candidate Paul Bachmann, who entered the race Aug. 2 and has yet to file his first campaign finance report.

The district is reliably Republican, with about 10,000 more registered GOP voters than Democrats. Ahern has comfortably won each of his elections in the district.

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Pinellas GOP chief Nick DiCeglie confirms he will run for Florida House

Florida Politics

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Nick DiCeglie confirmed Wednesday he is running for House District 66 in 2018.

The Pinellas County Republican Party Chairman will make a formal announcement sometime this spring. 

When asked if he would run for office, DiCeglie told FloridaPolitics.com: “I’m really focused right now on my duties as chairman.”

But with nearly a year and a half before the GOP primary, DiCeglie is in no hurry to file.

“I certainly would like to make an official announcement in the next several months,” he said.

A Long Island, New York native who moved to Pinellas County in 1996, DiCeglie owns Solar Sanitation, a Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company.

He was elected Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee chair in 2014 after defeating two other challengers to take the take the reins.

In January, DiCeglie was elected to serve as Republican Party of Florida caucus chair, leading all 67 county GOP leaders statewide.

The news comes as another Pinellas Republican, Berny Jacques, made it official Wednesday that he will also seek the House District 66 seat in 2018.

HD 66, which encompasses Clearwater, Largo, Seminole and Belleair, is currently occupied by term-limited Larry Ahern.

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Pinellas GOP chairman Nick DiCeglie says he will run for state house

Tampa Bay Times
March 1st 2017
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A year and a half before the 2018 primary, two Republicans have said they will run for the seat that will be left vacant when incumbent Larry Ahern hits his term limit.

Nick DiCeglie, chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party, said Wednesday that he intends to run for Florida House District 66, which represents Clearwater, Seminole, Largo and several beach communities. The news, first reported by FloridaPolitics.com, came the same day former state prosecutor Berny Jacques announced his intention to run.

DiCeglie, 43, said his formal announcement will come in the next few months, but for now, he’s focusing on his duties as chairman.

“I’m just taking my time and speaking to folks on a daily basis,” he said.

DiCeglie, a Long Island, N.Y., native, was elected to the lead the Pinellas GOP in 2014. He has owned the Clearwater-based garbage removal business Solar Sanitation since 1996 and is a former chairman of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He lives in Indian Rocks Beach with his wife and two children.

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Nick DiCeglie sets high-powered Tally fundraiser for HD 66 bid

Florida Politics

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Pinellas County GOP chair Nick DiCeglie joins several heavyweight lobbyists in Tallahassee next month to fundraise in support of his bid for term-limited Larry Ahern’s House District 66 seat.

The event begins 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Governors Club Board Room, 202 S. Adams St. in Tallahassee.

Among those big conservative names on the host committee include former House Speaker Will Weatherford, lobbyist Nick Iarossi of Capitol City Consulting, RSA Consulting Group CEO Ron Pierce, Holland & Knight attorney Mark Delegal, Suskey Consulting head Alan SuskeyEvan Power of the Ramba Consulting Group, GrayRobinson’s Chris Spencer, The Rubin Group and Cameron Yarborough of Gunster, with others.

A 20-year resident of Florida, DiCeglie runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation. He faces Berny Jacques in the GOP primary for the western Pinellas County seat, which covers Clearwater, Indian Shores and Largo.

A Democrat, Pinellas educator Alex Heeren, and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann are also in the HD 66 race.

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