Campaign finance reports for January,
February, and March are in for the local county races. So who's funneling cash to Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and his main
opponent, County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez?
If money is any
indicator, Martinez has a long haul ahead of him. For the past three
months, Martinez raised $325,524 for his campaign and his Get It Done
political action committee, while Gimenez's campaign and his PAC, Common Sense Now, amassed almost double that: $625,820. Since beating former Hialeah Mayor
Julio Robaina this past June 29, Gimenez and his committee have
collected $1.6 million total for his re-election run.
The mayor has also picked up a boatload of contributions from folks who supported his runoff opponent, Julio Robaina, most notably Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti. He ponied up $12,000 for Common Sense Now. Employees of the storied race track and corporations Brunetti owns bundled $5,000 for Gimenez's campaign. Another former Robaina rainmaker, Herman Echevarria, donated $17,500 to Gimenez and his PAC.
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Other big donors to Common Sense Now included a company called Preferred Care Partners ($20,000), a political action committee called Protect Florida's Ecological Freedom ($25,000), and criminal defense lawyers Roy Black and Howard Srebnick ($10,000). The mayor is also getting support from a wide-cross section of Miami's business community from former U.S. Ambassador Paul Cejas ($5,000) to Hector Ortiz ($1,000), an electrical contractor who was once barred from doing business with Miami-Dade County for two years.
Meanwhile, Martinez has drawn money from businesses out at Kendall-Tamiami Airport, as well as real estate developers Sergio Pino and Masoud Shoajee. Pino has donated $5,500 to the chairman's campaign and his PAC. Shoajee has raised $3,000.
Get It Done has also received individual $10,000 donations from development company Florida East Coast Industries, the Fountainebleau Resort, and a political action committee called Friends Of Law Enforcement. (Martinez is an ex-cop). The Cuban American politician from Kendall also got an eye-popping $100,000 contribution from another PAC called Citizens For A Better Miami-Dade.