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.