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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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Nick DiCeglie adds endorsements from Largo elected officials

Florida Politics

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House District 66 candidate Nick DiCeglie picked up a pair of endorsements Tuesday from Largo Mayor Woody Brown and Commissioner Curtis Holmes.

“I seldom voluntarily endorse any candidate but there are occasions when the qualifications displayed by a would be leader are so outstanding that it’s warranted and that is why I wholeheartedly endorse Nick DiCeglie to be the next representative for Florida House District 66,” Holmes said. “I’ve worked with Nick on many occasions, he’ll do a great job for Largo.”

“I’m pleased to offer my support to Nick DiCeglie for my home district, Florida House District 66. Nick cares about this community and has a solid record of community involvement,” Brown added.

Holmes and Brown follow former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Seminole Vice Mayor Chris Burke in endorsing DiCeglie, who chairs the Pinellas County Republican Party and runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation.

“I’m honored to have the support of these two great leaders, Mayor Brown and Commissioner Holmes,” DiCeglie said. “They understand the needs of our community and serve with the highest level of integrity. I look forward to the opportunity to work together with them to do great things for the City of Largo.”

DiCeglie is running against St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican Primary for HD 66, which is currently held by termed-out Rep. Larry Ahern. Also running are Democrat Alex Heeren and Reform Party candidate Paul Anthony Bachmann.

Jacques currently holds the fundraising lead in the primary race with $133,000 raised and $106,302 cash on hand through the end of December, though DiCeglie has outpaced him since entering the race in September.

Through four months in the campaign, DiCeglie has raised $72,714 and had $59,427 of that money on hand heading into 2018.

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.

 

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County Commissioner Dave Eggers backing Nick DiCeglie in HD 66 race

Florida Politics

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Republican Nick DiCeglie announced Tuesday that Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers had endorsed his campaign for House District 66, currently held by term-limited Republican Rep. Larry Ahern.

“Nick has such high energy, high character and high aspirations for our community and our state,” Eggers said in a press release. “As a family man, business owner and an American patriot, I support Nick DiCeglie as our next leader in the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee.”

DiCeglie, who runs Clearwater-based trash removal and recycling company Solar Sanitation, said he was “honored” to have Eggers’ support in the race.

“He is a business-minded leader, with over 30-years in the private sector – something we need more of in our elected officials. His experience and vision for our community has been a breath of fresh air and I look forward to working with him to get things done,” DiCeglie said.

DiCeglie is running against St. Petersburg attorney Berny Jacques in the Republican Primary for the seat. Also running are Democrat Alex Heeren and Reform Party candidate Paul Bachmann.

Through the end of 2017, DiCeglie had raised $72,714 and had just shy of $60,000 on hand in his campaign account.

The total puts him behind Jacques, who has been in the race six months longer than DiCeglie. At the end of the year, Jacques had $71,500 in his campaign account and about $35,000 on hand for his political committee, Protect Pinellas.

Heeren has not filed a campaign finance report since entering the race on Jan. 9, while Bachmann has raised just $345 since opening his campaign account in August.

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

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Nick DiCeglie: “I’m casting my vote for Donald Trump”

Florida Politics

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Just in case there was any doubt, Electoral College member Nick DiCeglie says yes, he’s still voting for President-elect Donald Trump.

The Pinellas County Republican Party Chairman spoke with reporters Sunday night before Monday’s Electoral College meeting in the Capitol.

He’s also sure none of his colleagues will be defecting, either.

“The state party selects all the electors and they do that very carefully,” DiCeglie said. “I have 100 percent confidence that Donald Trump will get 29 electoral votes tomorrow,” the number of Florida’s GOP electors.

Other GOP electors include state Rep. Larry Ahern, lobbyist Brian Ballard, state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, state Rep. and Republican Party of Florida chair Blaise Ingoglia, Senate President Joe Negron and state Rep. Carlos Trujillo.

That’s not to say DiCeglie hasn’t received “thousands of letters, thousands of emails” asking him to reconsider. He showed reporters a picture of his home postbox filled with mail on Thursday.

“It’s ‘vote for Hillary (Clinton), she won the popular vote,’ it’s “please don’t vote for Trump, he’s dangerous for the country’ … that’s the feedback I’ve been getting,” he said. “Folks want to voice their opinions; I’m totally OK with that.”

He even got a request to vote for a “unity ticket” of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president and Democratic Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine for vice president. Kasich was a GOP presidential candidate; Kaine was Clinton’s running mate.

But, DiCeglie added, “I take (seriously) the responsibility of representing the will of the voters here in the state of Florida, and Donald Trump won the state by over 100,000 votes” – almost 113,000 votes to be exact.

The Long Island native has been active with the Pinellas Republican Party since 2009, and its chair since 2014. He’s the co-owner of Solar Sanitation, a solid waste collection company serving Pinellas residents since 1980.

The Electoral College meets at 2 p.m. in the Senate chamber. Depending on reports, anywhere from 200 to 1,000 protesters are expected to converge on Tallahassee to voice their displeasure with Trump’s election.

Though Trump won only 62,958,211 votes to Clinton’s 65,818,318 votes, he captured 306 electoral votes, more than the 270 to take the White House. Clinton has 232 electoral votes.

“Most of these folks, I would assume, are Democrats,” DiCeglie said of those urging him to flip his electoral vote.

“I do think this is part of an organized effort to undermine Donald Trump’s victory. This is something that is not going to go away … Republicans should get used to that.”

 

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