José Javier Rodríguez tops Ileana Garcia in cash by nearly $350K for final stretch in SD 37
Ileana Garcia, Jose Javier Rodriguez

The incumbent has maintained a cash-on-hand lead throughout the contest.

Democratic Sen. José Javier Rodríguez is maintaining a healthy cash lead as he looks to defend his Senate District 37 seat against Republican challenger Ileana Garcia and nonparty affiliated candidate Alex Rodriguez.

As of Oct. 16, Sen. Rodríguez has just over $440,000 remaining in his war chest. Garcia is sitting on less than $93,000.

The incumbent had built up a sizable bankroll despite going unchallenged for most of the 2019-20 cycle. Garcia changed that in June, when she filed for the seat with the backing of Senate GOP leadership.

She started off strong, raising nearly $34,000 in her first 12 days as a candidate. She hasn’t matched that pace since, and Sen. Rodríguez has continued to hold a sizable money advantage as he looks to secure a second term in SD 37.

The district covers portions of Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest.

Sen. Rodríguez raised just over $115,000 in the latest reporting period, which covers Oct. 3-16. That includes money raised by Initiative for Florida’s Future, a political committee affiliated with his bid. But that PC also shipped out $127,000 to the Florida Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. That actually gave him a net loss for the period.

Garcia raised more than $55,000 during the same span between her campaign and PC, No More Socialism.

Excluding the Senator’s $127,000 donation, Garcia also outspent the incumbent during the period, showing around $80,000 in expenditures as compared to $24,000 for Sen. Rodríguez.

Garcia spent around $32,000 on ads with the Spanish Broadcasting System in Miami-Dade County. She spent another $20,000 on ad buys with Univision.

The biggest bulk of spending from Sen. Rodríguez — $18,000 — went toward production costs with the Christian Ulvert-led firm Edge Communications.

Alex Rodriguez, the nonparty affiliated candidate, does not appear to be actively raising money despite qualifying in the contest.

Candidates and political committees faced a Friday deadline to report all financial activity through Oct. 16.

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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