Gimenez Raises $2.5 Million for Reelection Thanks to Development, Real-Estate Donors

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez filed his official paperwork to run for a second full term only on October 1, but the incumbent has already amassed a campaign war chest of nearly $2.5 million, according to newly filed disclosures. His biggest declared competition, county school board member Raquel Regaldo, has collected $512,000 this year. 

Although the recent defeat of deeply connected and deeply financed City of Miami Commission candidate Teresa Sarnoff by insurgent candidate Ken Russell proves that money doesn't always guarantee victory in local elections, Gimenez's fundraising muscle proves he'll be a hard candidate to take on. However, Regalado has raised many more donations from individual donors who are kicking in small amounts of less than $100. 

Between his official campaign coffers and his Miami-Dade Residents First political action committee, Gimenez has raised $1.2 million of his total take since October 1. (Gimenez's campaign has been collecting donations only since October 1, whereas the PAC has been raising money all year.) 

But just who is contributing to the Gimenez campaign? The Miami Herald points out that Stuart Wyllie — a landowner in the American Dreams Megamall (which Gimenez publicly supports) — and the parent company of All Aboard Florida are among donors, but let's take a closer look. 

Donors' occupations are required to be filed with campaign finance reports, and that gives a hint into the kinds of donors pulling for a candidate. So we tallied up the number of donors (which can come from individuals, businesses, or other political committees) in prominent occupations. 

Gimenez's PAC so far has taken cash from 537 donors. Here's the breakdown of their industries:
Attorneys or Law Firms: 116
Real Estate: 110
Construction: 37 
Engineering: 19 
And here's the breakdown for Gimenez's campaign, which has 993 donors: 
Real Estate: 269
Attorneys or Law Firms: 120
Construction: 41
Engineering: 55
Keep in mind that the same donors can (and do) contribute to both the PAC and the campaign. 

Gimenez has also received a number of donations from contractors who do business with the city. 

Meanwhile, Regalado kicked off her fundraising efforts in March with a $250 donation from her father, City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. Since then, she has received donations from 748 individuals and entities. Here's the breakdown:
Real Estate: 44
Law Firms or Attorney: 25
Engineering: 3 
Construction: 3
Notably, Regalado has received more from smaller-money donors, many of whom weren't required to list an occupation. She does have one rich backer in car magnate Norman Braman. Regalado has received the maximum donation of $1,000 from him, his wife Irma, Braman Cadillac Inc., Braman Auto, Inc., Braman Hyundai, Braman Motors, Braman Real Estate Associates, Braman-Leibowitz LLC, and NAB LLC (AKA Norman A. Braman). 

Regalado has also been raising money through the state-registered Serving Miamians PAC, which was created in 2013 to further her and her father's political careers. The PAC has raised $279,500 in 2015 after remaining mostly dormant in 2014. In comparison to her small-donor-funded campaign coffers, the PAC is collecting money from more of the usual suspects. Money raised includes $5,000 from Forum Real Estate Group, $11,000 from Boroque Properties, $35,000 from real-estate investment company Corigin Holdings, and $45,000 from Braman. So it's not as if Regalado is being ignored by power players and the real-estate and development sectors. 

The Florida Bulldog also previously reported that Serving Miamians has received $20,000 from relatives of Roberto and William Isaias, two fugitives fighting extradition to Ecuador after being accused of taking hundreds of millions of dollars from that country's government. 
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder