Alex Penelas holds funding lead in bid for Miami-Dade mayor’s seat

Alex Penelas
The former Miami-Dade County Mayor has more than $400,000 left.

The Miami-Dade County mayoral race is sprinting to the primary with former Mayor Alex Penelas holding a large advantage over the rest of the field in campaign cash. Penelas, who previously held the office from 1996 through 2004, has raised nearly $1.3 million for his campaign and has more than $400,000 remaining.

In total, Penelas has raised $1,299,547 for his campaign, including $34,050 in the most recent fundraising period. He has spent $887,762, leaving $411,785 on hand.

Penelas spent heavily in the last two filing periods, dumping $453,046 from June 27 to July 10 and another $267,832 from July 11 to July 17.

One advertising firm — AKPD Message and Media — received the bulk of those expenditures. Penelas paid the firm $314,061 by from June 27 to July 10 and $267,831 in the latest filing period.

Penelas’ political committee, Bold Vision, also vastly out-raised competitors, raising a total of $3,137,915. The committee unloaded $1,292,730, leaving it with $1,845,185 on hand, which represents more than the total raised by all but one of his competitors’ committees.

County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava has raised $811,104 for her campaign and spent $581,734, leaving $228,371 on hand. She raised more than $19,000 in her recent filing report and spent $243,024 in that period, with the lion’s share — $216,300 — going to Communications LLC for advertising.

Levine Cava’s political committee, Our Democracy, has been the second most active in the campaign. Our Democracy raised $2,592,445 and spent $1,903,294 over the life of the campaign. 

That leaves $689,152 for the committee with less than a month left before the primary.

County Commissioner Esteban Bovo, who represents District 13, has received a total of $464,206 in contributions, and he’s spent $138,803. That leaves $325,403 cash on hand. 

Bovo raised $42,203 in the latest filing period.

His committee, A Better Miami-Dade, still has $581,114 on hand. A Better Miami-Dade has raised a total of $1,409,330, including $900,000 from Transportation Solutions for Miami Dade.

A Better Miami-Dade spent $891,216, including $455,273 between June 27 and July 10 and $120,313 from July 11 to July 17. The committee paid $293,912 to DRC Consulting Inc. for TV ad time between June 27 and July 10.

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who served as Mayor of the city of Miami from 1985 to 1993 and again in 1997 and 1998, raised $124,200 and spent $65,250, leaving $58,951 cash on hand.

Suarez did not raise any money the latest filing period.

His political committee, Imagine Miami PC, has raised $1,467,785 and spent $1,204,632 over the life of the campaign. That leaves $263,153 for the committee to spend heading into the Aug. 18 primary.

The final three candidates — Monique Nicole Barley, Carlos Antonio de Armas and Lyudmila Dormond — have raised much more modest totals and do not have political committees to aid their cause.

Barley has raised $1,077 and has not spend anything on her campaign thus far.

Dortmund has raised $5,840 and spent $2,505, leaving $3,335 on hand.

De Armas, meanwhile, has raised just $305 and spent $300.

If no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the primary the top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.

Spencer Fordin

Spencer Fordin grew up in Port Washington, N.Y. and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. Before working for, he spent 16 seasons with and nearly three years as a general assignment reporter in the Cayman Islands. You can reach Spencer at [email protected].


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