Incumbent Coral Gables Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera did little to no fundraising in March following the end of the Legislative Session, yet she still managed to add to her campaign account thanks to an assist from the Republican Party.
The Republican Party of Florida, Busatta Cabrera’s sole contributor last month, donated $25,000 to her campaign account. Her political committee, People Above Politics, received nothing.
With that gain and not much spending last month, Busatta Cabrera holds about $217,000 to fend off her lone Democratic opponent for House District 114, South Miami lawyer Adam Benna.
Busatta Cabrera spent $1,250, including a $1,000 donation to the campaign of Chase Tremont. Tremont is a Port Orange City Council member seeking the open seat representing House District 30. He faces fellow Republican Robyn Hattaway, whom he has significantly outraised so far.
Benna, meanwhile, collected more than $8,500 last month and spent nearly as much over the same period. By March 31, his campaign had roughly $32,500.
More than 30 people gave Benna checks in March ranging from $5 to $1,000. He received the maximum sum from former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kathryn Sorenson, Coral Gables-based accountant Stewart Appelrouth and real estate company PropertyForce President Neil Solomon, who last week added “CEO” to his title.
Lawyer Adele Valencia, a former director of code compliance for the city of Miami and legislative aide to Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava during her tenure as a county Commissioner, gave $100.
Former HD 114 Rep. Daisy Baez, who resigned in 2017 as part of an agreement to plead guilty to perjury charges stemming from an investigation into whether she lived in the district she represented, chipped in $50.
Benna also received $1,000 from Miami law firm Kendall Coffey P.A. and its principal, Kendall Coffey.
Benna spent $5,400 on marketing services from political advertising agency MDW Communications. Another $2,000 went to Peter Campbell, who owned Electio Consulting Group LLC and PJC Political Consulting Inc. both of which the Florida Division of Corporations lists as inactive.
The remainder of Benna’s expenditures covered merchant fees for Democratic donor platform ActBlue and payment processing company Vantiv and a $320 self-reimbursement.
HD 114 covers part of Miami-Dade’s southern coast, including parts of Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and a large chunk of Coral Gables. The district could prove a toss-up later this year.
Candidates faced an April 11 deadline to report all campaign finance activity through the end of March.