Alex Penelas says he has now surpassed $3.1 million in fundraising in his bid for Miami-Dade County Mayor. That makes Penelas the first candidate in the field to cross the $3 million mark this cycle.
Penelas added about $340,000 in the month of January through his campaign and his political committee, Bold Vision. He previously served as Miami-Dade County Mayor from 1996 to 2004.
The Penelas campaign released a statement Monday highlighting the fundraising milestone.
“It is not easy to raise money when you have been out of politics for over 15 years and it makes our continued success much more special because our support is authentic,” Penelas said
“All of my major opponents are leveraging their positions on the County Commission to collect money from special interests coming before them for votes. In my case, people are buying into my vision for a better Miami-Dade with no strings attached. That makes me profoundly grateful.”
Several County Commissioners are competing in the mayoral race including Esteban Bovo, Daniella Levine Cava, and Jean Monestime and Xavier Suarez. Levine Cava, who is second in overall fundraising, responded to Penelas’ allegations in a statement to Florida Politics.
“We are being fueled by low dollar donors who contribute every month to support our vision for a new Miami-Dade. Unlike some who see their vision as up for sale and can be bought, mine is inspired and driven by the hopes and dreams of residents who are tired of the same problems that have yet to be fixed by the recycled politics of Miami-Dade,” Levine Cava said.
“My record of taking on the ethical challenges our County faces is well documented and I have done much of it as the sole champion. There is a lot of work to do to restore the public’s trust in their county government because of the last two decades of failed promises, grand jury investigations into past administrations and a complete breakdown of integrity by those who led the County. When I say it’s a new day for Miami-Dade it’s because my lifelong record of serving our community and challenging the status quo is well known and I will lead that way as Mayor.”
Penelas’ January haul will likely be enough for to hold his lead in overall fundraising in the race. But Miami-Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez actually eclipsed Penelas’ January numbers.
Suarez pulled in around $360,000 for his strongest fundraising month yet. He added more than $50,000 to his campaign and another $309,000 to his political committee, Imagine Miami.
Suarez is the former Mayor of Miami who currently represents District 7 on the County Commission.
Levine Cava, meanwhile, added another $140,000 in January. That’s a repeat of what she was able to bring in during December. She’s collected about $2.2 million so far.
Also competing in the contest are entrepreneur Monique Nicole Barley, former Miami mayoral candidate Robert Burke and real estate agent Ludmilla Domond.
Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all financial activity through Jan. 31.