March fundraising shows HD 74 race shaping up to be a tough GOP primary

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Fundraising numbers show a tough GOP primary shaping up in House District 74 as financial planner and GOP leader Richard DeNapoli faces Venice orthopedic surgeon and attorney Julio Gonzalez in the heated Southwest Florida race.

DeNapoli, a former treasurer and chair of the Broward Republican Party, posted $6,690 for the March reporting period, for a total of $70,246 in the race for the region covering Osprey, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood. With $150,000 in loans, and expenditures just over $30,000, DeNapoli now has nearly $190K in cash on hand.

During the same period, Gonzales nearly tripled his GOP opponent’s take, adding $18,443 from March 1-31. It brings his total to $170,572. After nearly $38,000 in expenditures, the surgeon now has $132,685 in his war chest.

As for the voters, the two first-time conservative candidates, who are both attorneys, have platforms that are “almost indistinguishable, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Both are opposed to Common Core educational standards backed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, and each say they would block any Medicaid expansion.


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.