José Javier Rodríguez continues to easily outpace Ileana Garcia in SD 37 fundraising

Garcia has lagged in the money game as she seeks to oust the incumbent.

Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez is continuing to dominate Republican candidate Ileana Garcia in fundraising, according to the latest financial reports in the Senate District 37 race.

Those reports showed Sen. Rodríguez added more than $82,000 through his campaign from Sept. 19-Oct. 2. Garcia collected around 10% of that total, collecting $8,300.

Non-party affiliated candidate Alex Rodriguez again raised nothing and has not actively raised money since entering the race in June.

Garcia also waited until early June to enter the contest. With the blessing of Senate GOP leadership, she pulled in nearly $34,000 in her first 12 days as a candidate.

Since then, she has failed to match that fundraising pace and has struggled to keep up with the well-funded incumbent.

Sen. Rodríguez courted money from a broad swath of interests in the latest financial reports. The United Faculty of Florida political committee pitched in a maxed-out $1,000 donation to his campaign, as did Brickell Motors, a major South Florida car dealer. A plethora of law firms also flooded the incumbent’s coffers with $1,000 donations. His colleague, Democratic Sen. Darryl Rouson, donated $1,000 as well.

Initiative for Florida’s Future, a political committee associated with the Sen. Rodríguez reelection bid, added an additional $42,500 from Sept. 19-25. It’s not clear how much of that was simply pass-through money to another committee. The PC’s reports covering Sept. 26-Oct. 2 are not available as of this posting.

Garcia’s PC, No More Socialism, showed no additional funds raised from Sept. 19-Oct. 2.

That means Garcia’s war chest as of Oct. 2 — about one month before the Nov. 3 election — remains far smaller than her opponent’s. Garcia retains just over $102,000. Sen. Rodríguez is sitting on nearly $430,000.

The Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee did put more than $27,000 toward Garcia’s bid in the form of in-kind contributions. The organization covered costs for polling and consulting.

The Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee also gave more than $9,100 in in-kind contributions to Sen. Rodríguez, mostly in the form of staffing.

Garcia and Senate Republicans may have held high hopes upon her entry in the contest. But her struggle to raise money may scuttle her efforts to oust the incumbent as Republicans remain on the defensive elsewhere in the state.

SD 37 covers portions of Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest. Candidates and political committees faced a Friday deadline to report all financial activity through Oct. 2.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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