Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Casual Conversation with Nick DiCeglie Candidate for Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Part 3



My conversation with Nick DiCeglie continues.....

If elected to the Chairmanship, where do you hope to take the Republican Party of Pinellas County as we lead up to the next election cycle in 2016?" I asked.
 
"I think number one we’ve got to provide our candidates with the resources that they need to be in a position to win," Nick responded.

"So what does that mean?

We’ve got hundreds of volunteers that have helped us win various races this election cycle but we need to make sure that they’re organized at Party headquarters, trained at Party headquarters and deployed to help the various candidates from Party headquarters.

Then once we get past the primary, we can provide telephone callers to a particular candidate who is running for County Commission and we need to be able to organize precinct walks for a particular candidate who is running for a Constitutional officer’s seat.

We need to be able to deploy these volunteers and the necessary resources to the candidates. The direction of the volunteers are not only decided by the Party, but in conjunction with our various candidates because they’re the ones that tell us they're doing a Precinct walk this Saturday in this specific precinct and this coordination is extremely important.

This last election our volunteers were scattered all over the County. We had some walking for various House candidates, some for County Commission and some for State Senate they were just really all over the place.

I think you have to prioritize what we do. We need to inform our volunteers, we need to train our volunteers, we need to get them ready to get hit the ground running as soon as the primaries are over.

Considering when the absentee ballots go out that’s really when these races start. It doesn’t start 10 days before election or on Election Day. This effort is going to start 30 or 40 days prior to the election."

"What do you see as the major issues that need to be addressed by the Republican Party of Pinellas County?" I asked.

"There’s a lot. Honestly like I just mentioned, we need to make sure we are organized to be effective for our candidates.

I think that we need to have an outreach program that that is going to get into the communities that Republicans haven’t done a very good job getting into.

We talk about minority outreach all the time and you know we got a Hispanic Outreach club and they do a great job; but we really, really need to rally around what they do and  how they do it. And provide resources so they can be effective.

I do think, looking at what’s going on at the national level, Republicans have a huge opportunity to pass legislation, pass conservative policies that are going to be able to show the American people the difference between the last six years under President Obama and what good, solid, smaller government and fiscally responsible policies can mean for the average middle class American.

We want government to get out of the way so middle class Americans have the opportunity to realize their dreams. Republicans finally have a platform to be able to get those policies passed and in place so that we can begin turning this Country around.

It is easier said than done with Barak Obama in the White House these next two years. He has the veto pen.

I get the sense that there’s going to be a different focus for Republicans. You are already hearing that they don’t want to talk about government shutdowns. That's not a positive message that Republicans need here in these next two years. It is vital that a negative message does not reflect down to the local level."

Next Post, Nick talks about the changing demographics in Pinellas County and how the Party functions in the candidate selection process.

E-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net. Or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Twitter@DOCONTHEBAY. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Casual Conversation with Nick DiCeglie Candidate for Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Part 2



My conversation with Nick DiCeglie continues.....

"Many registered Republicans know very little about the Republican Party of Pinellas County.  Let me ask you a couple of questions about that.

How does the County organization relate to the State and National Republican organizations?" I asked.

"You have the Republican National Committee which primarily is responsible for Presidential campaigns; Presidential elections and obviously they get down to the Senate and Congressional level but primarily the objective is to get a Republican elected to the White House." Nick responded.

"At the State level, we have the Republican Party of Florida which is responsible for electing your State Senators and State Representatives, and we(Republican Party of Pinellas County)  are really underneath the RPOF (Republican Party of Florida) umbrella and then coming down to the local level, the Republican Executive Committees or the other local Republican GOP’s.

We are responsible for electing County Commissioners, constitutional officers and then there’re some circumstances that we get involved in municipal races even though those are non-partisan.

Basically the structure puts the local Republican Executive Committee underneath the RPF umbrella and of course we have the Republican National Committee at the very top." Nick replied.

"What is the primary focus of the Republican Party of Pinellas County?' I asked.

"To elect qualified Republicans to office." Nick responded.

"What offices have you held and what is your current role with the Republican Party of Pinellas County?" I asked.
                                             
"My current role is the Vice Chairman of the Republican Executive Committee in Pinellas County.

I am also a Governors' appointee to the Regional Planning Council and I have served five years on the Indian Rocks Beach Planning and Zoning Board. I was also chairman of the Ivory Club in 2012 which is our social, fundraising arm of the local Republican Executive Committee." Nick answered.

"Current Executive Committee Chairman Michael Guju is stepping down. You have announced your intention to run for the Chairmanship. Why?" I asked.

"I think we need a new fresh, youthful energy to our Republican Party in Pinellas County. These last 2 years I’ve really learned a lot about how the organization works and what we’re really responsible for; but also at the same time, I think that as we are looking toward 2016 we can't hang our hats on these recent midterm elections and say, okay, we had a huge amount of success in 2014 and we can take some time off and enjoy 2015.

Then try to get ready for 2016 in January of 2016. Those days are over. This is about the ability to hit the ground running in 2015 and begin preparing for the huge election cycle in 2016.

I think Republicans have a great opportunity particularly here in Pinellas County. You know things weren’t so rosy in 2014. We lost a county wide County Commission race and we were not able to improve our results from 2010 for Rick Scott here in Pinellas County despite having so many hard working grass root volunteers involved. So that being said, we need to hit the ground running in 2015 with a strategy that will help us improve our organization.

We need to be focused and to be organized. We need to train our volunteers; we need to be ready to deal with the huge heavy lifting of 2016 because that's what it is going to take."

Next Post, Nick talks about where he would like the County Republican organization go in the upcoming 2016 election cycle. 

E-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net. Or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Twitter@DOCONTHEBAY. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Casual Conversation with Nick DiCeglie Candidate for Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Part 1



Early in December, the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee will be electing a new Chairman.

Nick DiCeglie has been involved in Pinellas County Politics since 2009. He is currently Vice Chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee which is the administrative wing of the Pinellas County Republican Organization. Nick is a candidate for the Chairmanship of the Executive Committee as Michael Guju steps down following the recent midterm election.

The Chair of the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee is elected by a vote of the membership. You can get more information at Republican Party of Pinellas County website.

This is the first of a five Post series where Nick explains the function of the local Republican Party organization and his view of the future for the Republican Party in Pinellas County.

Our interview took place Nick's office in Clearwater.


"Tell me a little about your background, your family and your business." I asked

Nick started the conversation, "I grew up in Long Island New York. I grew up a third-generation in the family business which is garbage and recycling collection. My dad and his two cousins purchased the company here in Clearwater in 1980.

One of the original partners passed in 1992, and my parents moved here immediately after to essentially pull the business out of the dumps, no pun intended, and at that time I had just entered community college in Long Island.  The next few years my dad’s health worsened so my then girlfriend, now wife, Erica and I moved to Pinellas County in September 1996. Unfortunately my dad passed about seven months after I had moved here and I have helped run the family business ever since.

 I got married in 2002 to Erica and we have two beautiful children Livia our daughter who’s 10 and little Carlo, who is named after my dad,  is 6 1/2." Nick replied.

"How long have you been active in Pinellas Country Republican Politics? And what caused you to start?" I asked.

"Since 2009." Nick replied

"My business is regulated by the County Commission so at that time the County Commission was looking to, in my opinion, over regulate the industry which could’ve potentially put myself and a couple of other smaller, local haulers out of business.

 At that time I said to myself, either I’m going to sell the business to my billion-dollar competitors and not deal with County government, or find a solution.

Not dealing with trying to find a solution to the issue at the time was not an option. You know, at that point we were pushing on 30 years of business In Pinellas County and I just wasn’t going to not tell our great story. We have a great business with great employees and an incredible, loyal customer base and I just wasn’t about to quit on any of them.

So I got involved in Republican politics.

Ever since moving here I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to local politics but I started getting involved in politics so I could be better informed about the County Commission. One thing lead to another, and the great thing with all of it, I was able to lead the industry to help the County find a solution and improve the solid waste collection system in unincorporated Pinellas.

Once I accomplished that, I wanted to stay actively engaged in the business community, active in non-profits and active in politics and that's what I did.

I really turned what was a pretty nerve-racking process, which I didn't realize at the time I was lobbying for my own company for my own industry, and turned that into something extremely positive and I vowed to stay involved with the community and politics and here I am five years later."

In our next Post, Nick talks about the organizational structure of the County Republican Party and his experience in County Politics.

E-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net. Or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Twitter@DOCONTHEBAY. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos