Rep. Jimmie Smith endorses Richard DeNapoli in HD 74 race

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Republican House candidate Richard DeNapoli received the endorsement of state Rep. Jimmie T. Smith, a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who served in Desert Storm.

DeNapoli, a successful Broward Republican Party leader, is running for the House District 74 seat currently held by term-limited Rep. Doug Holder. He faces Venice orthopedic surgeon Julio Gonzalez in the Aug. 26 GOP primary to represent Osprey, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood.

Smith is vice chair of the Veterans and Military Affairs subcommittee in the Florida House. During the 2014 session, he sponsored the Florida GI Bill, a wide-ranging measure designed to help veterans transition to civilian life.

“As a State Representative and Sponsor of the Florida GI Bill I am offering my endorsement of Richard DeNapoli for State Representative,” Smith said in a statement Monday. “I feel that Richard’s work ethic, strong principles and willingness to work with everyone to make Florida a better state is what we need in the Capitol.”

“As a veteran I feel we must elect leaders that have vision and understand the effect of the decisions they make,” he added. “I feel that Richard is that man when it comes to House District 74 and that is why I am offering my official endorsement.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.