Business owner Nick DiCeglie defeated his opponent in the Republican primary for House District 66, which covers a swath of mid-Pinellas County.
DiCeglie, 44, took about 60 percent of the vote Tuesday compared to former prosecutor Berny Jacques' 40 percent. That means the owner of Solar Sanitation, a garbage pick-up company, will compete against Democrat Alex Heeren in the Nov. 6 general election.
DiCeglie could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Both DiCeglie and Jacques, 31, made their first runs at public office for the seat left open by term-limited Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole. Jacques works as development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and was a lawyer before that, first in the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office then in private practice.
DiCeglie grew up on Long Island and moved to Florida in 1996 to help his parents run their family sanitation business, which serves customers in unincorporated Pinellas. He is the current chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party and is a member of the Pinellas County Economic Development Council. He previously served twice as the chairman of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He lives in Indian Rocks Beach with his wife, Erica, and two kids.
Jacques' family settled in Florida in 1994 after fleeing political unrest in Haiti. He worked as a state prosecutor and private practice attorney before taking on his current role. He is a past president of Pinellas County Young Republicans and started the Young Floridians for Opportunity PAC, a committee made up of young professionals supporting conservative candidates.
He lives in Seminole.
District 66 covers parts of Seminole, Largo and Clearwater as well as beach communities from Indian Shores to Belleair Beach. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.
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