Rep. Nick DiCeglie raised more than $176,000 in February for his bid for Senate District 24, his campaign announced Friday.
The haul also includes fundraising activity on Mar. 1, the final day before the 2021 Legislative Session. Lawmakers are prohibited from fundraising during the 60-day Session, meaning his one-month haul set his campaign up well ahead of a long lull.
Prominent local contributors include St. Pete City Council members Ed Montanari and Robert Blackmon, real estate investor Jim Holton, developer Jonathan Stanton and attorney Brian Aungst Jr.
“I am truly grateful for the broad support our campaign has received in such a short amount of time,” DiCeglie said. “It’s indicative of the level of excitement behind our conservative message and our track record of getting results. We’re off to a great start and we will continue putting together the resources needed to continue taking our message to voters and win in 2022.”
DiCeglie officially announced he was running for SD 24 Mar. 1. He’s running to replace Sen. Jeff Brandes, who is leaving office due to term limits. DiCeglie will appear on the 2022 ballot. He’s so far the only Republican, and only candidate in general, to announce for the seat.
Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is also expected to run, and Democrats are expected to put forward a candidate in hopes of turning the battleground district blue.
DiCeglie’s campaign finance activity is not yet public, so no further information about his earnings, or spending, is currently available.
DiCeglie moved to Florida in 1996 and runs his family’s business, Solar Sanitation. The company provides waste management services in unincorporated Pinellas County and was awarded “Medium Sized Business of the Year” by the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.
DiCeglie was first elected to the Florida House in 2018 and reelected last year.
In 2019, he led efforts (HB 5) to make it harder for local governments to tax its citizens, a move that should help him in an eventual competitive primary.
This year, DiCeglie is a co-sponsor on legislation to create COVID-19 liability protections for businesses. The bill (HB 7) would increase the burden of proof on plaintiffs to prove gross negligence for COVID-19-related lawsuits. It would be applied retroactively to already filed legal action.
DiCeglie, and other supporters, argue the protections are needed for businesses who have already taken a major hit from pandemic-related shutdowns and businesses slowdown and to avoid frivolous lawsuits.
DiCeglie chairs the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee where he sets the agenda for legislation to be heard. He’s also a member of the Commerce Committee, which is one of the committees of reference for his liability bill.
Other committee assignments, which span this year’s legislative session and the 2022 Session, include the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, Local Administrative and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and the powerful Ways and Means Committee.