In HD 74, Richard DeNapoli blistered by attack ad focused on ties to Charlie Crist, trial lawyers

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A new attack ad attempts to “expose” Republican candidate Richard DeNapoli to GOP primary voters.

Among the factors listed in the ad, each designed to rile up the GOP base, include accusations that DeNapoli tried to “trick” voters into thinking he served as a U.S. Marine and his affiliation with Charlie Crist when DeNapoli was treasurer of the Broward County Republican Party.

Behind the 30-second spot is the Better Florida Fund, a PAC led by Jacksonville gastroenterologist Walter Harmon with more than $1.5 million in support from the Florida Medical Association, which supports DeNapoli’s GOP opponent.

In a statement announcing the digital ad, Better Florida says the ad intends to put DeNapoli “on the defensive this week” by stressing how the candidate receives support from “the same liberal Florida trail lawyers who are working for a Democrat takeover in Tallahassee.” To support the allegations, the group provides a link to a article that connects pro-DeNapoli PAC donations to the political arm of Florida trial attorneys.

DeNapoli faces Venice orthopedic surgeon Julio Gonzalez in the Aug. 26 GOP primary. The winner will go up against two-write-in candidates in November — Robert Kaplan and Shiloh Turner — for the heavily Republican district of Osprey, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood.

The ad, called “Semper Lie,” is also available on YouTube.

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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.