Alex Rizo posts best fundraising month this cycle to defend Florida House seat
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/27/21-Rep. Alex Rizo, R-Hialeah, during the House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee meeting, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

He now holds more than $167,000.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Alex Rizo of Hialeah raised more than $70,000 in December. That’s his best fundraising month this election cycle, with more than a third of his gains coming from the real estate and development sector.

He now has more than $167,000 between his campaign and political committee, Principled Moral Conservatism, to defend the seat he handily won in 2020.

Rizo accepted 11 individual contributions ranging from $100 to $1,000.

His largest single donation, a $10,000 check, came from Hialeah-based Vivo Real Estate Group. Other real estate and construction donations included $7,500 from an affiliate of Miami-based developer Terra and $2,000 from companies linked to Hialeah-based Sierra Development Corp. Rizo also courted $1,000 apiece from Sunshine Dade Investments LLC, American Asphalt Equipment Corp., Gonzalez and Sons Equipment, Luxor Residential Holdings, and MasTec, a Miami construction and engineering company whose principals are investors in a planned soccer stadium complex in the city called Miami Freedom Park.

Rizo also enjoyed support from health care businesses. Mario Jardon, president and CEO of Citrus Health Network, donated $2,000. So did HCA Healthcare. Hialeah-based La Colonia Medical Center and Gainesville-headquartered insurer AvMed each gave $1,000.

Political committees similarly turned out for Rizo. Former Miami-Dade Commissioner and current Hialeah Mayor Esteban “Steve” Bovo’s PC, A Better Hialeah, contributed $4,500. The Council for Senior Floridians and Liberty for Florida donated $1,000 apiece.

From the energy sector, Florida Power & Light parent company NextEra Energy donated $2,500. Samaris Corp., a Hialeah-based gas station business, chipped in $1,000.

As they’ve done before, police organizations gave, too. The Dade County Police Benevolent Association donated $1,000. So too did By the People, for the People, whose chair, Steadman Stahl, leads several local police groups, including the Dade County PBA. The Hialeah chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police gave $500.

Three restaurants registered to Osmany Martinez donated a combined $3,000.

Two agriculture businesses — West Palm Beach-based American Export Corp. and Loxahatchee-based Closter Farms Inc. — each gave $1,000.

Rizo, a former educator and Miami-Dade County Public Schools administrator who now works in sales and education counseling, continues to receive support from schools. Miami-based for-profit charter school operator S.M.A.R.T. Management contributed $1,000. Hialeah based preschools Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Our Lady of Lourdes Pre-School, which are both registered to a man named Rigoberto Leal, respectively donated $500 and $250.

Former mixed martial arts fighter, pro wrestling champion and current Arkansas Deputy Sheriff Daniel Puder, the founder of My Life My Power and its private school system, donated $250.

He also got $1,000 donations from Visa, Gus Machado Ford and Miami-Dade County-based human resources company Regis HR Group.

Rizo spent more than $8,000 last month, mostly on consulting and party dues. He paid David Custin’s DRC Consulting about $5,800 and another $1,800 to the Republican Party of Miami-Dade.

Another expenditure, $408, went to Tony’s Liquors in Hialeah for “promotional items.”

Rizo currently represents House District 110, which spans a heavily conservative strip of Miami-Dade County west of Opa-locka Executive Airport, including parts of Hialeah and Miami Lakes. By the time voters go to the polls in November, the district will have remained in GOP hands for 40 years.

Proposed redistricting now in contemplation in Tallahassee could shift HD 110’s borders and, depending on which map the Legislature approves, change Rizo’s district number and constituency base.

Candidates faced a Jan. 10 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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