Jason Pizzo’s committee raises another $20K to defend Senate seat
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 4/29/21-Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, speaks against a bill to increase criminal penalties for violating someone’s DNA privacy, prior to the bill passing the Senate and returning to the House, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

North Miami Beach Democrat facing a challenger from pol he unseated

Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo’s campaign showed no gains in August, but his political committee collected $20,000 from two union donations.

The freshman Senator who lives in North Miami Beach had a better month than his usual. Still, it all pales compared to the $500,000 donation his political committee received in January from Tristar Products, based in New Jersey.

That donation inspired some speculation that Pizzo could make a run for the Governor’s Mansion, but then Pizzo shot down the rumors the next month. And campaign reports show he hs since had four months with little or no fundraising.

So, for now, Pizzo, a former assistant state attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, is a candidate for Senate District 38, and he has drawn a challenger for the Primary Election, Democrat Daphne Campbell. Campbell was the incumbent Senator for this district in 2018 when Pizzo challenged her for the seat and won.

Campbell doesn’t appear to be a serious contender so far. She shows no cash on hand and no campaign fundraising activity beyond lending her campaign $200 in March.

Pizzo, however, has $604,074 cash on hand to defend his seat.

Campaign activity shows that he collected nothing in direct contributions and returned $1,000 to a donor in August, but his committee faired better.

New Opportunity Florida received a $10,000 donation from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, based in Washington, and the Florida Education Association, based in Tallahassee, representing public school teachers.

His campaign spent nothing in August, and his committee spent $5,000 on consulting services from Edge Communications in Miami.

Pizzo has proposed increasing the state’s unemployment benefits, extending the filing deadline for wrongfully incarcerated individuals to receive compensation, and allowing local municipalities to regulate vacation rentals. Those efforts died, but some of his other proposed legislation has been passed in a companion bill.

He is the chair of the Criminal Justice Committee. He also serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, the Commerce and Tourism Committee, and the Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight.

Senate District 38 covers eastern Miami-Dade County that includes Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Golden Beach, Biscayne Park, and Miami Shores.

His campaign faced a Friday deadline to report all campaign finance activity.

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].


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