Michael Grieco collects $10K for SD 36 bid as Ileana Garcia skips March fundraising

Grieco Garcia
Garcia could afford to take March off; she still holds more than double what Grieco has.

Miami Beach Democratic Rep. Michael Grieco dove right back into fundraising at the conclusion of the Legislative Session last month, collecting more than $10,000 toward his bid to unseat incumbent Miami Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia in Senate District 36.

Garcia, meanwhile, took the remainder of March off from adding to her campaign coffers and spent nearly the same sum Grieco gained.

Lawmakers are barred from fundraising during the Legislative Session, which ended March 14.

As of March 31, Grieco had about $192,000 between his campaign account and political committee, Strong Leadership for South Florida. Garcia held more than double that.

In March, thirty-six people gave Grieco checks ranging from $10 to $1,000.

Among his noteworthy donors: Albert Balido, managing partner of Tallahassee- and Coral Gables-based Anfield Consulting; Aurelio de Mendoza, senior vice president of stakeholder engagement for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce; and lawyer Mojdeh Khaghan Danial, chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Miami Beach Budget Advisory Committee and a member of the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation board of directors. Each gave $1,000.

Grieco spent more than twice what he raised last month. His biggest expenditure was a $16,000 payment to Coral Gables-based consulting and CPA firm Riesco and Company for accounting and “professional” services.

He also paid $5,000 to the firm of longtime Democratic consultant and medical marijuana activist Ben Pollara, $3,000 to Miami-based retail wholesaler Good Catch for campaign T-shirts, and $800 apiece to event coordinator and senior outreach pro Nicole Arango and Miami Beach-based consultant Liliana Martinez.

Garcia, who has $434,000 between her campaign account and political committee, No More Socialism, spent about $10,400 last month. Of that, $8,000 went to Tallahassee-based fundraising consultant Debbie Aleksander, whose LinkedIn page lists past and current clients including Sen. Rick Scott, Attorney General Ashely Moody, former Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Republican Party of Florida.

Garcia also spent almost $2,200 on campaign T-shirts.

Post-redistricting, which state lawmakers approved Feb. 2, SD 36 covers a center-east portion of Miami-Dade County spanning the lower half of Miami Beach, a large portion of Miami, including the barrier island of Virginia Key, and parts of the cities of Coral Gables and Sweetwater.

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

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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