Nick DiCeglie has been in the race for House District 66 for a month and his first campaign finance report, released Tuesday, signals a momentum shift in the GOP primary between him and Berny Jacques.
Jacques filed March 3 and was the first-in candidate for the Pinellas County-based seat. Since showing $30,000 raised in his initial report, his contributions have slowed.
April brought him about $11,000 in campaign cash, and after the dog days of summer, he posted another five-figure report in August. His September report, though, brought about a new low: just $1,875 in new money came in, while about $5,500 went out the door.
His lone $1,000 check for the month came in from Sarasota attorney Patrick McCardle, while the remainder came from a smattering of small-dollar donors most of whom gave $50 or less.
In all, Jacques has raised $67,344 over the past six months and has about $52,000 in the bank.
DiCeglie, who entered the race at the start of last month, raised $30,751 in 30 days. All of that money that came in before his official campaign kickoff event, too. That event is set for Thursday evening in Bellair and features more than 50 names on the host committee that no other first-time candidate could dream of getting in the same room anywhere outside the Governor’s Club.
The abbreviated list: St. Pete Sen. Jeff Brandes, Clearwater Sen. Jack Latvala and his son Rep. Chris Latvala, and Pinellas County Commissioners Dave Eggers, John Morroni and Karen Seel, as well as Commission candidate and current HD 69 Rep. Kathleen Peters.
His pull with local Republican rock stars isn’t a surprise. In addition to owning and operating the lauded waste management company Solar Sanitation, Inc., for over decade, he spent two terms chairing the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and earned a gubernatorial appointment to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.
Being the current chair of the Pinellas County Republican Party certainly doesn’t hurt, either.
Among his September donors were renowned attorney Brian Aungst Jr., Clearwater City Council Member Doreen Caudell, former Pinellas GOP Chair Jay Beyrouti, and lobbyist Alan Suskey.