Local leader Nick DiCeglie eyes chairmanship of Pinellas GOP

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Michael Guju won’t be running for re-election for his post as president of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee. The first person to announce running to replace him was current vice-chair Nick DiCeglie.

Diceglie has owned the waste management company Solar Sanitation since 1996 after growing up in the business. DiCeglie sits on several other boards throughout the county, including the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commercy, Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning board and Leadership Pinellas.

DiCeglie said he decided to run for the top spot in the local party after watching what happened during the 2014 midterm election.

“Despite an overall Republican victory in Florida Charlie Crist beat Rick Scott in Pinellas County by 40,000 votes,” DiCeglie said.

He said the county went from red to purple and is afraid it may now be shifting to blue. That’s something he doesn’t want to see happen.

“We really need to work on getting out the vote and talking to people on the ground,” DiCeglie said noting that he had his eye on the 2016 and 2018 elections.

DiCeglie officially announced his candidacy Monday night at a Republican Executive Committee meeting. So too did three other members. According to DiCeglie Lee Pilon, George Farrell and Robert King will all be running as well. He said Pilon is the former Sergeant at Arms who he defeated in 2012 for vice chair by a wide margin 65 percent to 35 percent. King, he said, last attended a meeting in January and he claims Farrell is struggling with some IRS tax troubles.

“I’m extremely confident and look forward to serving,” DiCeglie wrote in a text.

The election is December 8.

DiCeglie already has a Facebook page established for his candidacy. On it he touts his company’s 2011 award from the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce for Medium Business of the Year.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.