Rep. Blaise Ingoglia’s clear path to Senate District 11 hit an unlikely speed bump.
Ingoglia, the Spring Hill Republican who has Gov. Ron DeSantis’ backing for SD 11, picked up a challenger on the final day of qualifying.
Prolific candidate Brian Moore of the Green Party dropped his campaign for Governor Friday morning in favor of SD 11.
Moore, of Spring Hill, has had fringe campaigns for state and federal offices over a span of 30 years. He was the 2008 Liberty Union Party candidate for President.
Moore’s last-minute entry ensures a campaign for Ingoglia in the new SD 11 that is composed of Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties, plus part of Pasco.
Ingoglia, a Spring Hill home builder with a $10.3 million net worth, was first elected to HD 35 in 2014. He was re-elected three times and had reached his term limits.
It was long thought that Ingoglia would face Lecanto Rep. Ralph Massullo in the new SD 11. But that changed in March when DeSantis endorsed Ingoglia, leading Massullo to drop from the Senate race and seek re-election to HD 23 instead.
Ingoglia also has endorsements from Republican U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio.
Ingoglia served two terms as state Republican Party Chairman, from 2014 to 2018, helping to ensure Florida wins for DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.
His campaign war chest is geared for the kind of fight he likely won’t find in Moore. Ingoglia has $1.4 million on hand between his campaign account and two political committees, Government Gone Wild and Friends of Blaise Ingoglia.
He also opened his campaign account in July 2021 with a $500,050 loan.
The winner will succeed Senate President Wilton Simpson of Trilby, who has reached term limits and is running for Agriculture Commissioner.