Republican Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin amassed $26,000 last month to defend his Florida House seat representing west Miami-Dade County. As was the case in November, unions, trade groups and professional associations were responsible for a significant chunk of his gains.
As of Dec. 31, Fernandez-Barquin held more than $240,000 between his campaign account and Floridians United, the political committee he launched in the runup to his successful bid for House District 119 in 2018. He’s seeking a third term, though his district’s number and composition may change as a result of proposed redistricting to reflect the 2020 Census.
For now, he’s unopposed.
The lobbying arm of Florida Workers’ Advocates, a group of civil justice lawyers who represent injured workers, donated $5,000 to Fernandez-Barquin last month. That was tied for his single-highest donation received.
His other $5,000 check came from Friends of Mount Sinai, a political committee run by David Deutch, president of the Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents drugmakers, gave $2,500. So did United Faculty of Miami Dade College and Community Healthcare PC, which lobbies on behalf of the Miami-Dade chapter of the Service Employees International Union.
Fernandez-Barquin also received $1,000 donations from the Maritime Leadership Committee, which represents members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, and the Winter Park-based Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association.
Florida Podiatry PC, a lobbying branch of the Florida Podiatric Medical Association, gave $500.
Three subsidiaries of Disney gave $1,000 apiece. The Seminole Tribe of Florida, health insurance company Humana, and the Entertainment Software Association, which represents video game makers, each donated $1,000 as well.
Fernandez-Barquin spent nearly $8,000 in December, mostly on bookkeeping costs.
He paid almost $6,800 to Puerto Renfro PLLC, a CPA firm fellow Miami-Dade Republican Vance Aloupis also uses.
He donated $1,000 to the campaign of Lee County School Board candidate Jada Langford-Fleming as well.
HD 119 currently covers a large portion of unincorporated west Miami-Dade, including parts of the Kendall West, Hammocks, Kendale Lakes, Tamiami, and The Crossings neighborhoods.
A native of the county, Fernandez-Barquin won office in 2018 with more than 53% of the vote. He improved his margin of victory two years later, when he won re-election with more than 65% of voters casting ballots in his favor.
Fernandez-Barquin received some attention last Legislative Session, when he successfully sponsored an anti-riot bill. The bill, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in April, stiffened criminal penalties for rioters, vandals and looters. Its proponents said it helps local law enforcement combat public disorder. Critics allege that it targets certain minorities expressing their right to free speech and assembly.
This Session he’s sponsoring bills to allow law enforcement to aid hospitals in identifying “otherwise unidentifiable patients” and to regulate pet sales to cut down on so-called “puppy mills,” among other things.
Candidates and political committees faced a Jan. 10 deadline to report all financial activity through Dec. 31.