Big money pours into HD 74 GOP primary

in Uncategorized by

A big-money battle for House District 74 between Richard DeNapoli and Julio Gonzalez will definitely get a little bigger before both square off in the Aug. 26 GOP primary.

DeNapoli and Gonzalez — each vying for the title of “biggest conservative” – is armed to the teeth with large media buys and even bigger war chests.

Fundraising for the two first-time candidates — including loans and in-kind contributions — have now reached $570K as of the first week of August. After taking in account total spending, they have nearly $169,000 combined left to use for winning votes in the heavily Republican district of Osprey, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood.

DeNapoli, a former Broward Republican Party leader, added another $8,505 during Aug. 1-8, bringing his total to $112,639. With $150K in loans, and total expenditures of $173,893, DeNapoli goes into the final weeks with $88,746 on hand.

Notable in the weeklong reporting period is DeNapoli’s $25,000 media and mailer buy with Strategic Image Management and Tallahassee-based Seven Hills Strategy Group.

For his part, Gonzalez added $1,550 in the same period, for a total of $282,281. The Venice orthopedic surgeon spent $6,718 — including $1,500 for robo calls — for a total of $200,613 in expenditures, and just under $80,000 in cash on hand.

After Gonzalez and DeNapoli have individually found themselves the target of a recent slew of attack videos, websites and other negative ads — mostly produced by outside groups with long financial paper trails — the waning days of the HD 74 primary has undoubtedly become the race to watch, and is one for the record books.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.