Low-income community advocate leads in District 2 Miami-Dade County Commission money race

Marleine Bastien ART
Marleine Bastien pulls ahead of former public high school principal in July haul.

The race to succeeding departing Miami-Dade Commissioner Jean Monestime in District 2 is down to five candidates, with a nonprofit executive director the clear leader in the money race.

Candidates and political committees faced a Tuesday deadline to report all financial activity through July 31.

First in the money race, Marleine Bastien is a licensed clinical social worker who runs the Family Action Network Movement in Miami, a low-income community advocacy organization. Bastien has raised $69,100 in her bid, with July donations propelling her past Wallace Aristide, a former principal at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Until this report, he had been the fundraising leader in the race.

Last month, 65 donors gave Bastien a total of $16,041, compared to the $4,300 that Aristide raised last month. So far, he has raised $59,656 and spent $12,566.

Among the donors, Bastien received $1,000 from four individuals and businesses: construction manager Garry Burton in Coral Springs, IJLC Cool Transport in Miami, the Miami law firm of Kurtzban, Kurtzban & Tetzell, and Sans Construction in Miami. So far, Bastien has reported spending $4,172 in the race.

The $4,300 Aristide raised last month included $1,000 from Direct Airline Service in Miami and another $1,000 from DSF Group, a Palmetto Bay printer. His biggest expense — $1,000 — went to an accountant. He spent $900 on petition training with Afrovisions in Miami, according to his July campaign filing.

William Clark, a retired 28-year Miami firefighter and paramedic, chugged along in July, raising $1,630 last month, for a total haul of $21,475 for his campaign. In July, he spent $473, bringing his total expenditures to $10,111. He received $500 from Michele Belizaire, a Miami insurance agent, $200 from Janis Lindsey, a retired pharmacist, and $150 from Brian Ronard Dennis, a minister, whose address is protected information. A Miami Times columnist goes by “Brian Dennis” but it’s not clear whether Clark’s donor is the same person.

Three candidates have already dropped out of the race and two other candidates filed reports but had no donations listed.

The district encompasses parts Miami city proper, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, the City of Hialeah and unincorporated areas of Liberty City, Biscayne Gardens and North Dade Central.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

One comment

  • Anna

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