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Former Brow GOP chair running in Sarasota County

Richard DeNapoli, a former Broward Republican Executive Committee chair, is running for state house District 74 in Sarasota County.

He returns to his former stomping ground to fundraise at an event at Grille 401 in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 10th. Guess who isn't on the host committee for the event?

Tom Truex, the current BREC chair. DeNapoli narrowly beat Truex for the county party post in 2010. DeNapoli moved to the west coast of Florida after the 2012 election and Broward GOP activists elected Truex, former Davie town mayor, rather than Christine Butler who was more allied with the DeNapoli folks. 

Butler is on DeNapoli's Fort Lauderdale host committee as are former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, state Rep. George Moraitis, school board member Katie Leach, Shane Strum and Justin Sayfie to name a few.

DeNapoli, an attorney, jumped into the race in August. He faces Republican Julio Gonzalez, a doctor who has raised about $76,000 since November. The current representative, Doug Holder, is term limited.

Why does DeNapoli think he could pull it off starting behind Holder and as a newcomer to the area?

"There's a lot of time to go," DeNapoli said. "I'm confident I can raise the funds to be successful."

It'll be a busy week for Broward Republicans -- house speaker Will Weatherford holds a private cocktail reception at Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 9th.