Shevrin Jones raises $35K for SD 35 defense with gains from grassroots, medical, gambling spheres

Jones, Shevrin
Jones is unopposed for now.

Sen. Shevrin Jones raised $35,000 in December to defend his Senate District 35 seat, with strong grassroots support and help from the medical, gambling and financial sectors. But thanks to another round of active campaign spending, the Miami Gardens Democrat ended up with less in the bank than he did at the beginning of the month.

Jones now holds about $30,000 between his campaign account and his political committee, Florida Strong Finish. He’s still unopposed, but state rules barring fundraising during the Legislative Session could provide a late challenger with strong money connections the chance to amass a war chest.

Even if that happens, it wouldn’t likely be much of a problem for Jones, considering SD 35’s overwhelmingly Democratic lean and his performance in 2020, when he trounced his Primary opponents before running unopposed in the General Election.

In December, Jones received more than 50 individual donations ranging from $5 to $1,000. Medical businesses particularly turned out to support him. Physicians Regional Healthcare System, which operates two hospitals in Naples, contributed $5,000. CDR Maguire, a Miami-based company that provides an array of services, including health assistance, infectious disease aid and COVID-19 testing, gave the same.

Jones also received $1,000 donations from medical device company Abbott Laboratories, cannabis company Curaleaf’s Florida branch, service management company Automated Health Systems and a lobbying arm of HCA Healthcare.

From the gambling sector, Jones took $5,000 from Louisville-based horse racing company Churchill Downs, which operates Calder Casino in his district, and $1,000 from greyhound racing outfit Jacksonville Kennel Club.

Jones has filed a bill for this Session to allow businesses with existing racing permits to expand their operations to include horse-drawn harness racing on their racks.

He also received $3,500 from a political committee backing the Florida Credit Union and $1,000 apiece from Visa and the tax advisory firm Deloitte.

Other noteworthy contributions included $3,000 from Stephen South, owner of South College, which operates a campus in Orlando; $1,000 from the parent company of Florida Title Insurance; and $1,000 from Boca Raton-headquartered security company ADT.

Jones spent $30,000 in December, most of it on consulting and campaigning. He paid fundraising firm Greenprint Strategies $10,000 for “mail media consulting,” an expense earmark he also listed last month when he paid $7,000 to Florida consulting firm The Public Square, $2,000 to Pompano Beach-based Notion Motion and $1,000 to Tampa-based Community Partners Consulting.

He also paid North Miami-based Freezeframe Marketing about $1,000 in consulting fees, $600 to co-working space Oasis at Miami Gardens and $500 to Democratic voter database and web hosting service provider NGP Van.

Jones spent more than $3,000 on dinner meetings and event rentals, plus another $800 on travel expenses.

The remainder of his spending was for general upkeep, including $1,100 for legal services from the Fort Lauderdale law firm Haber Blank LLP.

SD 35 straddles Broward and Miami-Dade counties and includes the cities of Miramar, West Park and Miami Gardens, as well as Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport and North Perry Airport.

Jones was a member of the House from 2012 to 2020 until he succeeded Oscar Braynon in the Senate. Jones officially kicked off his re-election campaign in November.

In private life, he is the executive director of Florida Reading Corp., an AmeriCorps program focused on childhood literacy.

Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign finance activity through Dec. 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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