Veteran Republican operative Alina García amassed $135,000 in January toward her bid for Florida’s soon-to-be remapped Senate District 40, according to a Wednesday press note from her campaign.
In just nine days last month, her campaign said, García raised more than $100,000 in direct financial contributions through her campaign account and almost $30,000 through her political committee, Florida Always First.
She also received “an outpouring of local, community-based support and contributions from many of the state of Florida’s leading Republican voices.”
Her campaign has yet to file its official January fundraising numbers with the Florida Division of Elections. The deadline for that is Feb. 10.
García, an anti-abortion and anti-communism candidate, spent more than three decades working for several prominent GOP politicians in Congress, the Florida Cabinet, the Florida Legislature and Miami-Dade County.
She served as U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s first legislative aide when he was elected to the Florida House in 1999. In a Jan. 24 endorsement, Rubio described García as “consensus-builder and common-sense leader who will never stop fighting for our community.”
García’s work history also includes stints in the offices of former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, former Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo and former state Sen. Frank Artiles, who is facing several felony charges linked to a “ghost candidate” scheme in Senate District 37.
She said last month she plans to run in either Senate District 37 or SD 40, depending on where Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia decides to run.
Sen. Garcia won office in November 2020 by 34 votes after Artiles allegedly paid non-party affiliated candidate Alex Rodriguez to run for the SD 37 seat held by Democrat José Javier Rodríguez, hoping to confuse voters due to their shared last name.
Alina García’s campaign said she has now set her sights solidly on SD 40. The Division of Elections lists her as a candidate there. However, the address she listed would place her in Senate District 38, according to a map of districts the Senate has approved.
A search on the Miami-Dade Property Appraiser’s website shows the house located at her listed address belongs to Monsignor Wilfredo Peña of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Doral.
In a Dec. 12, 2019, Twitter post, García refers to Peña as her brother.
Democratic Rep. Michael Grieco refiled last month to run in SD 36, where he lives on the new Senate map. Through Dec. 31, he raised more than $153,000.