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 [Donald] Trump, 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.