Prominent House conservative Neil Combee endorses Richard DeNapoli for HD 74

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Richard DeNapoli’s bid for Sarasota House District 74 received a significant boost today with the backing of leading state conservative Rep. Neil Combee.

The Polk City Republican announced his support of DeNapoli to replace term-limited Rep. Doug Holder for the area that covers Osprey, Nokomis, Venice and parts of North Port and Englewood.

“From expanding access to health care to energy to small business development, the Florida Legislature needs people like Richard DeNapoli, who know the rigors of running a business, the impact of government on jobs, and the need to plan ahead,” Combee said in the statement announcing his endorsement.

DeNapoli served as Broward Republican Party as Treasurer in 2010 and served as party chair through December 2012. During his time on the Broward GOP Executive Committee, DeNapoli, a Florida native, developed a reputation as a “textbook case” for organizational success.

“His service as party chairman puts Richard on the pulse of the grassroots in Florida,” Combee said. “His insights into growing our State and growing our party will be invaluable.”

“To have the support of such a principled and honorable conservative like Representative Neil Combee is truly an honor,” DeNapoli said. “Neil knows what it is like to run a business and face the burden of nonsensical or outdated government regulations. I will look to him and his experience and leadership and thank him for his endorsement and support.”

Combee has joined other high-profile Republicans endorsing DeNapoli, such as State Reps. Ray Pilon, Dane Eagle and George Moraitis; former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, and Charter Review Board Member John J. Fellin. 

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.