Roberto Verdaguer doesn't think Donald Trump needs his money. That's one of the main things Verdaguer likes about the real-estate magnate. But that didn't stop him from sending $250 to Trump's campaign.
"I like the fact that he wants to finance this campaign with his own money," says Verdaguer, a Cuban-American who owns the Medley-based Quality Molds. "He's a billionaire, but he wants to give something valuable back to this country, so why shouldn't I give a little too?"
Trump found himself on the butt end of jokes this week after his campaign's latest filings showed the operation had barely more than $1 million on hand, spurring the hashtag #TrumpSoPoor and gleeful slams from Democrats that the GOP money machine wasn't getting behind him. (He's since reportedly topped $10 million in online fundraising this week.)
Indeed, a review of Trump's fundraising docs
Verdaguer is one of only 19 donors New Times found in the reports from Miami-Dade County, and though lawyers and developers top the list, it's also a motley assortment of retirees and small-business men such as Verdaguer.
The top local donor so far is Dr. Fernando Bianco, a prominent
Next on the list are Erik
Verdaguer says he isn't surprised there hasn't been a local upswell of support for Trump after the real-estate magnate criticized Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who's handling a civil case against Trump's for-profit college, over his Mexican heritage.
"His comments were correct, but he shouldn't have made them," Verdaguer says. "He needs to change his offense, to become more presidential and ride it out."
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But Verdaguer says he believes Trump is the right guy for the White House, even for Hispanic voters who have largely rejected his candidacy so far.
"He has a lot of what professional politicians don't, which is common sense," Verdaguer says. "Most politicians, whatever they say, they can take back and then say it again sideways or up and down. When he talks, he talks straight."
Surely, the list of Trump-supporting Miamians will grow as his campaign finance operation increases. But for now, here's your complete list:
Erik Agazim, Hialeah Firearms company owner ($2,700)
Robert Alwine, Miami attorney ($299)
Johanna Armengol, Coral Gables attorney ($250)
Fernando Bianco, CEO Urological Research Network ($4,000)
Trevor Chadderton, Coral Gables accountant ($250)
Laura Khachab, Coral Gables resident ($350)
Angel Pis-Dudot, Coral Gables linen business owner ($276.30)
Kim Usiak, Coral Gables IT company owner ($296.67)
Dennis Klingbeil, Miami retiree ($250)
Dorcas Piegari, Miami executive assistant ($214.61)
Teresa Portilla, Miami jewelry salesperson ($1,000)
Daniel Stone, Miami developer ($470.63)
Robert Trout, Miami developer ($250)
Hortensia Velez, Miami secretary ($250)
Roberto Verdaguer, Miami business owner ($247.61)
Suzy Genet, Aventura salesperson ($282.35)
Samia Mansour, Aventura retiree ($233.53)
Rheta Stone, Bay Harbor Islands retiree ($1,623.49)
Mark Abend, Aventura business owner ($488)