Ileana Garcia raises $75K+ in August, best fundraising yet for SD 37 defense

Ileana Garcia
Garcia now sits on more than $256,000.

Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia had her best fundraising month ever in August, raking in more than $75,000 between her campaign and political committee to defend her District 37 seat next year.

With more than a year before the 2020 General Election, Garcia now sits on more than $256,000.

How much of that she’ll have to spend to stay in office remains to be seen. So far, no one has announced plans to run against her. But considering she unseated incumbent José Javier Rodriguez last year by just 34 votes in a race rife with election meddling (not by her), some may perceive her hold on the district at least somewhat tenuous.

Agriculture businesses and interest groups were among Garcia’s biggest donors last month. The largest single contribution to her political committee, No More Socialism, was a $10,000 check from Sen. Ben Albritton’s Advancing Florida Agriculture political committee.

Sugar cane growers were big contributors, too. Garcia’s campaign collected $4,000 from subsidiaries of Florida Crystals and a $1,000 gift from a company owned by U.S. Sugar.

Dosal Tobacco, the manufacturer of budget-friendly cigarette brands DTC and 305’s, gave Garcia $2,000.

Tied for her second-largest single donation was School Development HC Finance, who contributed $5,000. For-profit charter school management company Academia’s Ignacio Zuleta manages that company. Three additional $5,000 gifts came from Coral Gables-based bilingual public affairs firm Tridente Strategies, North Miami-based MAM Title Consultants, and NextEra Energy Capital Holding, the parent company of Florida Power & Light.

While more than two-thirds of Garcia’s July gains came from South Florida’s booming real estate and construction sector, she collected modestly from those industries last month.

She received $1,000 contributions from The Corradino Group, whose president is Pinecrest Mayor Joseph Corradino. Pinecrest is among several Miami-Dade municipalities within SD 37. The district also contains Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, West Miami, South Miami, Key Biscayne, Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.

Another $1,000 check came from Hialeah Gardens-based nonprofit Latin Builders Association, self-described as “by far the largest Hispanic construction association in the United States.”

Former Miami-Dade Property Appraiser and Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera’s real estate consulting firm, Pan American Consulting, also gave $1,000.

Garcia is the co-founder of Latinas for Trump. She served as deputy press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security under former President Donald Trump.

Florida senators typically serve four-year terms. But like all other Florida lawmakers, she will be on the ballot in 2022 as district lines are redrawn to reflect the 2020 Census.

Candidates and political committees face a Friday deadline to report all financial activity through Aug. 31.

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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