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Manny Diaz raises $50K in first Senate fundraiser

Miami Republican Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. announced Wednesday that he brought in an even $50,000 in the first fundraiser for his Senate District 36 campaign.

“This number reflects the growing momentum in our campaign,” Diaz said. “I’m so grateful for the strong community support we have and for all the local leaders from across the district who took time to be at our event and invest in this campaign. Our team continues to grow, and I plan to keep working hard to connect with as many voters as possible.”

Diaz is in his third term representing House District 103, which covers southern Broward and northeastern Miami-Dade counties, but is looking to move up to the Senate in 2018 rather than run for a fourth and final term in the House.

His new money came in during a fundraiser Diaz held March 22 in Hialeah. The host committee for that event included House Speaker Designate Jose Oliva and Miami Rep. Carlos Trujillo as well as a long list of county and municipal officials.

Also in attendance was Republican Sen. Rene Garcia, who currently holds SD 36 but faces term limits in 2018.

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Diaz’ campaign did not say how much it has raised outside of the March 22 fundraiser. That information will be released when March campaign finance reports are filed next month.

The fundraiser was Diaz’ first since the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped. Before the 60-day session, the Hialeah Republican had raised more than $266,000 and had about $188,000 on hand.

Campaign spending and $2,000 worth of contribution refunds left him with about $183,000 in his campaign account heading into March.

Diaz is currently unopposed in his bid to move from the House to the Senate, though that might not be the case much longer.

According to multiple sources, Senate Democrats are recruiting Alex Penelas, the former mayor of Miami-Dade County, to step up and run for the Miami-Dade seat.

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SD 36 includes the Miami-Dade territory Diaz currently represents in the House and extends a bit further east into the territory represented by Oliva in HD 110.

Republicans have a 3-point advantage in voter registrations within the district, though Hillary Clinton carried the seat by 14 points in 2016, the same day Garcia cruised by underfunded Democrat Anabella Grohoski Peralta with a 10-point win.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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