Final volleys of campaign cash make HD 74 primary one for the most expensive House primaries — ever

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If anything, the House District 74 GOP primary could be one for the ages, as the soon-to-end battle between Richard DeNapoli and Julio Gonzalez experiences one last volley of campaign cash.

DeNapoli and Gonzalez – busy fighting each other for the South Sarasota County “conservative” stamp – finished the GOP primary fundraising race with massive expenditures, seemingly committed to spend just about every penny before the ballot.

It is a logical strategy in a race where fundraising tipped the scales at $700K — including loans and in-kind contributions. Tuesday’s winner in the heavily Republican district of Osprey, Venice, North Port and Englewood is sure to be the successor of term-limited state Rep. Doug Holder.

DeNapoli, the former Broward Republican Party treasurer, added another $7,475 from Aug. 9-21, with another $90,000 in loans, to bring his total to $360,114 — including $240K he gave his campaign.

Along with a 13-day expenditure of $183,239 ($357,132 in total), DeNapoli goes into the final weeks with only $3,000 on hand.

Notable in the weeklong reporting period is DeNapoli’s $170K media and mailer buy with Strategic Image Management.

Who says direct mailers are dead?

Gonzalez added $32,980 in the same period, totaling $315,261. The Venice orthopedic surgeon spent $87,088 — for a campaign total of $287,401— including $57,000 to Maryland-based Mentzer Media Services for advertising.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.