Florida GOP, Devin Nunes help Maria Elvira Salazar rake in big bucks ahead of Election Day

Maria Elvira Salazar
Salazar is facing off against Donna Shalala in a rematch for the seat in Florida's 27th Congressional District.

Republican challenger Maria Elvira Salazar holds an advantage in large dollar donations over Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala in the latest reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The two are competing for a second straight cycle in Florida’s 27th Congressional District. A review of “48-Hour Notices” filed in the campaign’s waning days shows Salazar led Shalala $223,000-$137,000 in outside donations of more than $1,000.

Within 20 days of an election, all donations of $1,000 or more must be reported separately to the FEC. That requirement remains in effect until 48 hours before Election Day.

The latest numbers come courtesy of 48-Hour notices filed since Oct. 23. They do not include donations under $1,000. It’s unclear how those contributions would affect the difference in each candidate’s totals.

On Oct. 26, the campaign committee for GOP Rep. Devin Nunes donated $2,000 to Salazar. The Republican Party of Florida added $5,000 to Salazar’s campaign on Oct. 29.

Near the end of August, Salazar also put in a $62,000 loan to her campaign in addition to the $223,000 in outside cash, giving her a total influx of $285,000 in the campaign’s close.

Some big-name South Florida locals showed up in Shalala’s fundraising reports. Miami Heat Owner Micky Arison, who made his fortune with Carnival Corporation donated $2,800 to Shalala. His wife, Madeleine, donated another $2,800. Jimmy Buffett added a $2,500 check after sending a similar sum to Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

Wealthy financier George Soros and his daughter, Andrea, gave $2,800 each to Shalala. They also made a play in CD 26 and the contest for Florida’s 18th Congressional District.

Committees associated with Comcast/NBC Universal contributed $3,000 to Shalala. She also courted $1,000 each from committees connected to American Airlines, Boeing, Cigna and Wells Fargo.

Shalala defeated Salazar by 6 percentage points win in 2018 and is looking to repeat the feat.

The district covers parts of Miami-Dade County including Coral Gables and Miami Beach. Frank Polo Sr. has also qualified for the contest as a write-in candidate, though is not expected to mount a significant challenge for the seat.

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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