Juan Fernandez-Barquin adds $35K to HD 119 defense
Image via MyFloridaHouse.gov.

Juan Fernandez-Barquin House Pic
Petland has hired a fleet of lobbyists ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session.

Republican Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin added $35,000 for his re-election bid in House District 119 last month. Nearly a third came from a single pet store company backing legislation to set minimum animal welfare standards.

Fernandez-Barquin, who lives in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, now holds more than $204,000 between his campaign and political committee, Floridians United. No challenger has yet announced plans to run against him.

He received $11,000 from pet store chain Petland, which supported past legislation by Sen. Manny Diaz and Bryan Avila to supersede local ordinances and set stricter statewide standards for the treatment of animals for sale at retail outlets, including mandatory daily activity and socialization time for the animals, more stringent documentation and pet enclosure temperature parameters, among several other changes.

As Florida Politics reported last week, Petland has hired a fleet of lobbyists ahead of the 2022 Legislative Session to support similar bills. The bills Diaz and Avila sponsored died, but similar legislation is being drafted for future consideration.

The Jacksonville Kennel Club, one of three dog-racing tracks owned and operated by Jacksonville Greyhound Racing Inc., gave Fernandez-Barquin $1,000.

He received $5,000 from the gasoline industry, split between Miami-based Sunshine Gasoline Distributors and the Tallahassee-based lobbying arm of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association.

Another $5,000 came from Working Together, a political committee run by lawyer and lobbyist Natalie Kato.

Nearly as much came from the technology and telecommunications sector. Pittsburg-based Grant Street Group, which provides cloud-based government payment solutions, gave $3,000. The company’s chief business development officer, former Miami-Dade County Tax Collector Ian Yorty, gave $1,000. And the South Florida lobbying arm of AT&T gave $500.

The Florida Association of Health, representing commercial Medicaid and Medicare Advantage health insurers, gave $2,500. CVS subsidiary Caremark gave $1,000.

Insurance agent groups the Committee of Florida Agents and Agents for a Better Florida, which share both an address and a chair, State Farm insurance agent Eric Ponce, each donated $1,000.

So did the Orlando-based Apartment Political Action Committee, chaired by Meredith Torres, regional manager of international real estate development and management firm Greystar.

Fernandez-Barquin spent no money on campaigning last month. Instead, his sole expenditure, apart from a $40 upkeep fee to fundraising platform Anedot, was a $3,000 donation to Senate President Wilton Simpson, who has raised more than $7.2 million for his bid to be Florida’s 12th Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

HD 119 currently covers a large swath of unincorporated West Miami-Dade County, including parts of the Kendall West, Hammocks, Kendale Lakes, Tamiami, and the Crossings neighborhoods.

The district’s makeup could change after the state Legislature approves redistricting to reflect the 2020 Census.

Fernandez- Barquin, a Miami-Dade native, won his House seat in 2018 with more than 53% of the vote. He earned re-election two years later, with more than 65% of ballots cast in his favor.

Candidates faced a Nov. 10 deadline to report all campaign finance activity through Oct. 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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