Demi Busatta Cabrera welcomes new challenger by raising $32K to defend HD 114
COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Demi Busatta Cabrera
Her opponent raised $16,000.

Republican Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera tapped a broad range of industries to amass $32,000 in her final full fundraising month before the 2022 Legislative Session.

Lawmakers are barred from seeking campaign contributions during the two-month Session. That lull could provide some runway for her new Democratic challenger, South Miami lawyer Adam Benna, to catch up to the incumbent.

As of Dec. 31, Busatta Cabrera held nearly $147,000 between her campaign and political committee, People Above Politics, to defend her House District 114 seat. Benna, who filed to run Jan. 2, has raised roughly $46,000.

Busatta Cabrera’s largest single donation, a $10,000 check, came from Miami-based public relations firm Mata Consulting.

Tallahassee lobbying firm Johnson & Blanton gave $2,500. Fort Lauderdale-based law and lobbying firm Becker & Poliakoff contributed $500.

A few companies from the medical and pharmaceutical sectors showed up for Busatta Cabrera last month. Miami-based health care services company Independent Living Systems donated $2,500. Busatta Cabrera also received $1,000 apiece from Gainesville-based health insurer AvMed, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and HCA Healthcare, which bought 59 urgent care centers in Florida this month.

West Palm Beach-based sugar company Florida Crystals donated $2,500. So did Florida Power & Light parent company NextEra Energy and political committee Floridians for Economic Advancement, which in 2020 contributed to a political committee that funded attack ads against Rep. Daniel Perez.

Busatta Cabrera received $1,000 donations from the Florida Bankers Association, PepsiCo, West Palm Beach-based limestone mining company White Rock Quarries, the lobbying arm of Associated Builders and Contractors and the Deerfield Beach-based automotive company JM Family Enterprises. Busatta Cabrera also netted $1,000 from the Chevron Public Policy and Sustainability Committee, which is responsible for advising the board of directors of the second-largest oil company in the world on “environmental, social, human rights, political, and public policy matters.”

Busatta Cabrera spent just under $4,000 last month. Most of it went to Tampa-based campaign consulting firm Strategic Image Management for a “mass mailout.”

She also paid the Coral Gables accounting firm Fiore CPA $440.

Benna, meanwhile, raised nearly $16,000 last month through Sunshine Priorities, a political committee chaired by Juan-Carlos “J.C.” Planas, a former Republican House member who endorsed Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo for Governor in November.

All of Benna’s December gains came through individual donations ranging from $100 to $5,000.

Of the $3,800 he spent last month, $2,450 went to Miami-based BFF Compliance for accounting and compliance services and $434 went to the fundraising platform Anedot.

HD 114 currently spans a sizable portion of Miami-Dade County, including the municipalities of Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami and West Miami. Proposed redistricting would shift the district northward to cover Pinecrest, South Miami, Coral Gables and just a small portion of Palmetto Bay.

HD 114 remained in Democratic hands for six consecutive years before Busatta Cabrera flipped it red in 2020. The remapping, if approved, would turn it into something of a tossup district, according to an analysis by Matthew Isbell of MCI Maps.

Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign finance activity through Dec. 31.

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Ryan Nicol of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

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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