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Joe Gruters names campaign leadership team

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Sarasota GOP Chair Joe Gruters announced a solid Sarasota-area political roster on Monday to his campaign team in the House District 73 race.

Although primaries are still more than a year away, Gruters – a prolific fundraiser himself – said strategic planning and fundraising have been in the works for the past month.

“I’ve put together a dynamic and experienced team to assist me in my efforts to serve District 73 and the state of Florida in the Legislature,” Gruters said in a statement.

Gruters, a certified public accountant who serves as vice chair and head of fundraising for the Republican Party of Florida, is running for the seat now held by fellow Republican Greg Steube. HD 73 covers parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Steube has hinted he will not seek re-election next year, instead opting to run for the Senate District 28 seat of Venice Republican Nancy Detert.

Key members chosen for the 2016 Gruters campaign team are several veteran Florida political operatives, including Mac Stevenson of Ellington’s Political Insights as general consultant; Adam Goodman, principal director of the Tampa-based Victory Group, Inc., to handle television and digital media; and Kelly Dowd’s KD Logistics from Sarasota to handle fundraising duties.

For campaign manager, Gruters tapped Jennifer Locetta of Sole Strategies in Casselberry.

Gruters also announced a kickoff fundraiser Monday evening, starting 5:30 p.m. at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, 7051 Wireless Court in Sarasota. The company is the area’s largest marketer of Anheuser-Busch/InBev and Modelo/Corona brands, as well as import and craft beers.

The event features a notable host committee with state Sens. John McKay, Lisa Carlton, and Pat Neal, Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, state Reps. Julio Gonzalez and Ray Pilon, and several county commissioners from Sarasota and Manatee counties.

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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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