Daniel Perez posts third-best fundraising month this cycle for HD 116 defense

Perez, Daniel
Perez is in line to be House Speaker.

Republican Rep. Daniel Perez enjoyed his third-best fundraising month this election cycle in December, when he collected more than $349,000 to defend his House District 116 seat. A significant chunk of that came through trade groups, the health care sector and energy companies.

As of Dec. 31, Perez held more than $1.14 million between his campaign and two political committees, Conservatives for a Better Florida and Miami United PC, the latter of which raised no money last month.

His largest donations were a pair of $50,000 checks tied to the Associated Industries of Florida, a free enterprise organization that bills itself as the “Voice of Florida Business.”

Other professional association donations included $10,000 from the lobbying arm of injury law group Florida Workers Advocates, $7,000 from the Maritime Leadership Committee and $5,000 from the Florida Association of Motorist Service Providers.

The health care and pharmaceutical sector gave generously. The Florida Hospital Association donated $11,000. Fort Lauderdale-based Health Network One donated $10,000. So did the Committee of Safety Net Hospitals, a Tallahassee-headquartered political committee chaired by Safety Net Hospital Alliance CEO Justin Senior.

The Washington-based Pharmaceutical Care Management Trade Association gave $5,000, as did Denver-based kidney care giant DaVita and a political committee representing the employees of insurer Cigna Corp.

Dallas-based Tenet Health, Miramar-headquartered hospice provider Vitas Healthcare and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America each gave $2,500.

Several energy companies turned out. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, donated a combined $21,000 to Perez’s campaign and political committee. California-based solar energy company Sunrun Inc. and Jacksonville’s Gate Petroleum Co. gave $5,000 apiece.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Marathon Petroleum Corp. and the Chevron Public Policy and Sustainability Committee each donated $1,000.

With a $15,000 check, Tallahassee-based government relations firm Johnson & Blanton gave the largest donation from the legal and lobbying sphere. The Southern Group gave $10,000. JAXBIZ, a political committee associated with the JAX Chamber, donated $2,500. Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Beker & Poliakoff gave $1,000.

From the agriculture and edible goods spheres, Cookies Retail — a California-based cannabis company — donated $10,000. Clewiston-based U.S. Sugar Corp., which farms across hundreds of thousands of acres in Florida, gave $5,000. The company is now in a court fight with the U.S. Department of Justice over its attempted purchase of Imperial Sugar, which runs a major refinery in Georgia.

Telecom giant Charter Communications gave $15,000.

Albany Auto Management, a Coral Gables-based company linked to development firm Codina Partners, donated $10,000. Jacksonville-based contractor Miller Electric Co. gave $2,500.

Florida’s Voice for Early Learning, a Tallahassee-based lobbying arm of the Florida Association For Child Care Management, donated $5,000. Tennessee-headquartered e-learning solutions company Worldwide Interactive Network gave $2,500.

Other noteworthy donations included $15,000 from telecom giant Charter Communications, $10,000 from a political committee backing hotel chain Marriott International, and $5,000 apiece from Hialeah Gardens-based pet seller Pooches of Largo Inc., alcohol distributor Gold Coast Beverage and the West Palm Beach-based trust of American billionaire M. Jude Reyes. Reyes owns the largest distribution company serving food giant McDonald’s.

Perez also accepted 10 individual contributions, some as low as $100. Among them: $5,000 from Marc Buoniconti, president of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and $1,000 from Royal Caribbean Cruises Vice President John Fox.

Perez spent nearly $218,000 in December, nearly all of it on party dues, campaign events and consulting.

He gave $100,000 to the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee, which is “committed to electing passionate, conservative leaders to the Florida House of Representatives,” according to the House GOP website.

In June 2019, Perez won a race to lead the House from 2024 to 2026 as long as Republicans maintain control of the chamber and he remains in office.

Perez bought $3,300 worth of campaign stickers from Miami-based political communications firm Marin and Sons and paid more than $2,700 to M.V.Almer Productions, also from Miami, for a “senior citizens event.”

Perez paid Miami limited liability company Red Road Consulting $51,000. The company, which registered with the Florida Division of Corporations in January 2021 under a residential address and manager Daniel Leon, received more than $230,000 last year from Perez.

Perez also paid about $7,000 to Coral Gables accounting firm Fiore CPA, $1,000 to Tallahassee-based Coates Law Firm and $405 to Miami-based Jaga Group for “web consulting.”

He also spent about $900 on travel, lodging and parking at Miami International Airport.

HD 116 covers part of the city of Doral and a large area of unincorporated Miami-Dade County, including portions of the western neighborhoods of Kendall, Sunset, Westwood Lakes, Westchester, University Park and the Fontainebleau.

If proposed House redistricting plans are approved, Perez’s listed home will just barely remain inside HD 116 on the district’s southeast corner.

No one has filed to run against him in November.

Perez, the son of Cuban expatriates who left the island as youths, won a 2017 Special Election to succeed former Rep. José Félix Díaz in the House. He has proven himself to be a powerhouse fundraiser and quickly rose through the GOP ranks.

He told Florida Politics his primary goals this Legislative Session are to support Speaker Chris Sprowls, who is in his last House term, and to ensure Republicans maintain control in Tallahassee under the future leadership of Speaker-designate Paul Renner.

Though he hasn’t filed legislation for it, Perez also hopes to see legislation passed to add preventative measures to safeguard Florida residents from another tragedy like the June condo collapse in Surfside. He is also looking to bring back funding for the WOW Center, a nonprofit education facility in his district that teaches job skills to adults with developmental disabilities.

Candidates faced a Jan. 10 deadline to report all campaign fundraising activities 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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