Original post | 12:50 p.m.
Update w/ DeNapoli press release | 1:13 p.m.
Less than eight months after he moved to Sarasota County, former Broward Republican chairman Richard DeNapoli is seeking to represent his new home in the Florida House of Representatives.
He filed paperwork with the state Division of Elections this week indicating his plan to run for state representative in the 74th district, which means a primary. Another Republican, Julio Gonzalez, has been seeking the nomination since November.
DeNapoli spent two somewhat rocky years as chairman ending in December 2012. Offering an eight-point point plan for beefing up the party organization, DeNapoli narrowly won the party job in December 2010 with 129 votes to 125 for former Davie Mayor Tom Truex.
DeNapoli started his tenure as chairman with a slew of new rules, all of which have since been revoked. All new and unfinished business will be conducted behind closed doors, something he called "a member driven decision." Also, unauthorized video and audio recording wasn’t allowed. And he had two committeemen remove Javier Manjarres, a DeNapoli critic who runs the conservative website The Shark Tank.
While DeNapoli was chairman, the party went from a distant second behind the Democrats in number of registered voters to third place behind people registered as independent/no party affiliation.
In 2012 Republicans lost all the critical local races: the 22nd Congressional District, the 34th state Senate district and Broward sheriff. Many factors contributed to the losses, including the heavy emphasis President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign placed on organizing Broward County.
In an email announcing he wouldn’t seek a second term as chairman, DeNapoli said Republicans shouldn't despair.
"This year's elections were not a defeat of our core Republican principles. If Republicans nationally can articulate an optimistic vision for our country's future that appeals to people across all walks of life, we will see future successes at the polls," he said.
He said he was leaving because of a career move that took him to Sarasota County, where he’s now running.
Last December, DeNapoli supported former Plantation Councilman Rico Petrocelli as his successor, but Petrocelli quit after less than four months in the job, citing internal party differences. Truex was then elected chairman.
Here's a press release circulated by the DeNapoli campaign:Nokomis, FL - Today, businessman and Republican Party stalwart, Richard DeNapoli, earned the primary endorsements of Sarasota State Representative Ray Pilon and Broward State Representative George Moraitis.
"Richard DeNapoli’s experience in retirement security, financial planning, and Florida law make him well suited to protect Florida’s seniors and their issues in Tallahassee. He’d make a great partner to work with in Tallahassee when it comes to protecting Sarasota County and its citizens,” Representative Pilon stated.
“Richard DeNapoli is a true conservative who Sarasota residents can count on to keep Florida on the road to economic prosperity. He’s and intelligent, common-sense conservative who won’t back down from his principles,” Representative Moraitis added.
DeNapli said, “To start this campaign with the support of Representatives Ray Pilon and George Moraitis is truly an honor. Both are thoughtful leaders who do what’s right for their constituents and I look forward to their help and thank them for the early show of confidence in this campaign.”
A native of Florida, Richard DeNapoli is passionate about law, estate planning, financial planning, real estate and the relationships he has formed through helping others in these areas.
In addition to being a Licensed Attorney, Realtor, Mortgage Broker and Notary, Richard has also been successful in obtaining his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certification. He worked as a Trust and Investment Officer for five years at Northern Trust on a team with $1.8 Billion assets under management providing services to high net worth individuals.
Richard DeNapoli is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law (2008, LL.M., Estate Planning), Fordham Law School (2002, J.D.) and New York University (1999, B.A., Politics; B.A. Italian). He is licensed to practice law in Florida and in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. In 2007, Richard DeNapoli was appointed as a Commissioner to the Florida Real Estate Commission (“FREC”), and subsequently reappointed when that term was up. Both of his appointments to the FREC were confirmed by the Florida Senate.
He was unanimously elected to serve as the Chairman of the Florida Real Estate Commission from 2010-2011, and he continues to serve on the Commission today. Richard also served as the Treasurer of the Broward Republican Party in 2010, and then as Chairman of the Broward County Republican Party through December of 2012. Recently, Richard has been focusing on his professional career and on his family. Richard is married to Brigita, and they welcomed a new addition to their family, Victor DeNapoli, who was born in August 2012.