Ben Albritton, Manny Diaz endorse Nick DiCeglie in his SD 24 run


Republican state Sens. Ben Albritton and Manny Diaz are endorsing Nick DiCeglie in his run for state Senate District 24.

Both Albritton and Diaz were elected into the Florida Senate in 2018. Before that, Diaz had served in the House since 2012, and Albritton since 2010.

Albritton credited his endorsement of DiCeglie to the candidate’s role as a local business owner. DiCeglie owns Solar Sanitation Inc. based in Clearwater.

“As a business owner, Nick understands the impacts government can have on job growth and our economy,” Albritton said in a statement. “The fight to defend Florida as a beacon of freedom and opportunity needs free market warriors like Nick DiCeglie.”

DiCeglie is running to replace Sen. Jeff Brandes, who is not seeking reelection because of term limits.

“Nick DiCeglie’s campaign for state Senate District 24 is building momentum thanks to his proven record of fighting for Florida’s students, our taxpayers and our small business owners,” Diaz said in a statement. “I am proud to endorse Nick and look forward to welcoming him to the Florida Senate.”

The endorsements from Diaz and Albritton follow those of Senate President Wilton Simpson and Sen. Kathleen Passidomo. Brandes has also endorsed DiCeglie as his successor, along with former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker — both cited DiCeglie’s strong commitment to his community as grounds for their support.

“We have a responsibility to protect the opportunities and freedom that make Florida the greatest state in the nation,” DiCeglie said in a statement. “Senators Albritton and Diaz have been on the forefront of that fight and I am honored to have their support.”

DiCeglie faces fellow Republican Timothy Lewis in the GOP Primary but appears poised to enjoy an easy race.

One Democrat has joined the race, University of Florida adjunct professor Eunic Ortiz.

SD 24 covers much of Pinellas County, including parts of St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, most Gulf Beaches and parts of southern Clearwater.

Ahead of the 2020 election, the district was home to about 357,000 voters, about 37% of whom are registered Republicans. Democrats held a 33% share of the electorate. In 2018, the last time the seat was on the ballot, Brandes defeated Democrat Lindsay Cross by about 10 points.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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