In HD 34, Jimmie Smith adds to money edge, while Nancy Argenziano sues Florida GOP

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Trying to fend off a challenge from former lawmaker Nancy Argenziano, state Rep. Jimmie Smith collected $32,160 in contributions between Sept. 29 and Oct. 12, according to newly filed records.

Smith has raised an overall total of $222,622 for the District 34 race in Citrus and Hernando counties. During the latest period, he received checks from companies and groups such as Humana, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Argenziano’s latest fund-raising totals were not posted on the state Division of Elections website Thursday, but she had raised a total of $20,828 through Sept. 28. Perhaps more important for Argenziano, the former member of the House and Senate earned the endorsement of the Tampa Bay Times.

Also on Thursday, Argenziano filed suit against the Republican Party of Florida, claiming that a direct mailer sent by the party falsely accuses her of breaking the law. The mailpiece doesn’t specifically say how, but the intimation is that she broke the law when “she filed to run for Congress as a Democrat.”

Argenziano denies she broke any law. She never actually filed as a Democrat, a fact that is easily checked, she said.

The mailer, she said, is a libelous attempt to hurt her current campaign for a state House seat.

“I left the Republican Party of Florida because of the corruption and the devious nature to try to win elections at all costs,” she said. “I’ll be darned if I’m going to sit still and let them get away with it.”

Republican officials had not seen the lawsuit Thursday, said RPOF spokesman Brian Burgess.

“But the mail piece correctly points out that she attempted to run for Congress in Tallahassee as a Democrat, for which she was not legally qualified,” Burgess said. “She then filed a lawsuit because she didn’t like the rules everyone is required to play by, and when she lost that lawsuit, she decided to run for office in Citrus County.”

 Material from the News Service of Florida and Tampa Bay Times was used in this report. More on Argenziano’s lawsuit can be found here.

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.