With $275K added in July, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s reelection war chest grows to $4.17M
Photo via AP.

Barring a political catastrophe or unlikely last-minute entry by a well-financed, big-name opponent, Suarez is an easy favorite to stay in office.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez last month increased his already gargantuan fundraising lead ahead of the city’s November election, stacking another $275,000 from a variety of wealthy donors.

His campaign war chest now stands at $4.17 million.

Barring an unforeseen political catastrophe or unlikely last-minute entry by a well-financed, big-name opponent, Suarez, the son of former Miami Mayor and Miami-Dade Commissioner Xavier Suarez, is an easy favorite to win in November.

Beyond the celebrity he has earned through city-boosting efforts and rubbing elbows with billionaire innovator Elon Musk, soccer star-turned-businessman David Beckham, and rapper FloRida, among others, Suarez’s looks and energetic approach to his work have attracted comparisons to John F. Kennedy.

While those comparisons may be inapt for many of reasons — he’s a Republican and has adopted traditionally conservative pro-business, pro-police, pro-low-taxes and regulation-reducing policies — Suarez, like Kennedy, has had no troubled attracting attention and praise, with Fortune this year ranking him 20th among the world’s 50 greatest leaders.

One key difference: Kennedy won the U.S. presidency in 1960 by a 0.2% margin, while Suarez won the Miami mayoralty in 2017 with a jaw-dropping 86% of the vote.

It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that many donors to his campaign and political committee, Miami for Everyone, are major league business leaders and investors with interests in the city.

Israeli American businessman Adam Neumann, the co-founder of WeWork and the subject of multiple unflattering documentaries, gave $25,000.

One of several high-profile investors who relocated their companies, opened new locations or bought homes in the Miami area after Suarez began promoting the city as an emerging tech hub, Neumann paid $44 million for two Miami Beach properties in June.

Suarez’s continuing efforts to boost Miami’s global business profile have proved successful so far. A May analysis by Axios showed a 15% year-to-year uptick in the number of tech workers in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area — the largest net gain of any major city the outlet examined.

Last month, he gained another $25,000 from New York City-based hedge fund SpringOwl Asset Management, whose CEO, Jason Ader, also recently moved to Miami with his family.

Miami-based tobacco and real estate company Vector Group also chipped in $25,000, as did local restaurateur Omaar Yemini and David Matlin, CEO of global private equity firm MatlinPatterson.

Zachary Frankel, whose real estate development group, Frankel Enterprises, operates out of Philadelphia and Jupiter, FL, gave the same amount.

Former Bank of America executive Omeed Malik, founder and CEO of investment company Farvahar Partners, which lists offices in New York City and San Francisco, gave $10,000. Suarez’s committee ledger shows Malik having an address in Palm Beach.

Royal Palm Companies, one of the developers behind the massive downtown Miami Worldcenter project spanning 10 city blocks, also chipped in $10,000.

Other $10,000 donations came from billionaire supermarket mogul and radio show host John Catsimatidis and Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of cryptocurrency and digital payment solutions company Ripple.

New York Investment firm Kairos CEO Ankur Jain, who in December joined Suarez and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in penning a CNN opinion article about a national renter stimulus program, gave $5,000.

Jason Karp and Ross Berman, the CEO and President of Austin- and New York-based holding company HumanCo, respectively, gave $5,000 apiece.

So did hedge fund Perceptive Advisors CEO Joseph Edelman, Pennant Housing Group Managing Principal Andrew Schwartzberg and Mitchell Modell, the CEO of Miami Beach-based MMM3 Consulting Group and Modell’s Sporting Goods.

Hollywood, Florida-based food delivery services company DeliverLean, which Miami-Dade County hired last year to deliver prepared meals to some 160,000 homebound seniors at the onset of the pandemic, also gave $5,000.

Compared to his three challengers — Maxwell Martinez, who has raised $12,326; Anthony Dutrow, who has raised $150; and Mayra Joli, who has raised nothing — Suarez’s July fundraising was titanic, if not insurmountable. But it’s comparably paltry compared to what he raised only a month earlier.

As reported by the Miami Herald, Suarez added about $900,000 in June, including a $100,000 contribution from a mystery donor called Tread Standard LLC, which was tied up in a Federal Election Commission complaint five years before.

Tread Standard, which also gave Gov. Ron DeSantis $110,000 toward his 2022 reelection bid, is represented by Miami-based law firm Bilzin Sumberg. Partner Brian Bilzin also gave Suarez $1,000 last month.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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