Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia has raised more than $151,000 toward her 2022 reelection bid for Senate District 37, which she won in November by a 34-vote margin. That includes a $30,000 fundraising run in June for her official campaign and political committee.
Garcia’s campaign has $59,381 to spend. Her political committee, No More Socialism, has another $91,985.
The committee’s largest donor since November with $7,500 contributed so far is Associated Industries of Florida, an organization run by former Rep. Tom Feeney that lobbies the Florida Legislature. All other donations have ranged from $116 to $5,000.
Garcia, whose district covers a large portion of Miami-Dade’s coastline from Cutler Bay to the city of Miami, lives in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood, according to her campaign website.
Florida senators typically serve four-year terms, but all will be on the ballot in 2022 because of redistricting to reflect 2020 Census.
So far, no one has announced they will oppose Garcia next year.
The co-founder of Latinas for Trump and a deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security in former President Donald Trump’s administration, Garcia unseated Democratic incumbent José Javier Rodríguez in November. Rodríguez had defeated three-term Republican Sen. Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, a former Miami-Dade Commissioner, to flip the seat blue in 2016.
But after her successful election, Garcia’s campaign was beset by controversy after it was revealed that former GOP Sen. Frank Artiles had paid non-parity affiliation candidate Alex Rodriguez, who shares a last name with the former Democratic Senator, to sign up for the race and siphon votes from the incumbent.
Rodriguez, who collected nearly 6,400 votes in the race despite reportedly not even living in the district, later admitted to accepting money to file an inaccurate financial disclosure form, change his party affiliation from Republican to NPA and run. He agreed to pay a $6,500 fine.
Both men face felony charges and are set for trial Aug. 30.