Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez left his challengers for Florida’s 28th Congressional District in the dust last quarter, when he added $217,000 to his already sizable war chest through a blend of corporate, organizational and individual donations.
He also spent $142,000, the majority of which covered consulting costs. By June 30, he had about $1.3 million remaining of the $1.8 million he’s raised this cycle.
Roughly 100 people gave to Giménez in Q2. Several chipped in $5,800 — the upper limit of what candidates can accept from individual donors, equal to $2,900 each for the Primary and General Elections.
That included maxed-out donations from billionaire Kenneth Fisher of Washington-based Fisher Investments and his wife, Sherrilyn Fisher, and Phillip and Patricia Frost, the namesakes of the Frost Science Aquarium & Planetarium in Miami.
Pinecrest Mayor Joseph Corradino, an urban planner in private life, gave Giménez $1,000. So did Richard Fain, who stepped down as CEO of Miami-headquartered Royal Caribbean Cruises in January after more than 30 years in the job.
As was the case in the first quarter of 2022, Giménez’s largest gain was a $26,000 transfer from a joint fundraising committee to which he is party.
Similarly, several conservative political committees — including former President Donald Trump’s Save America, which gave $5,000 — turned out for the freshman Congressman last quarter.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan donated another $5,000 through an affiliated political committee. The Home Depot gave the same.
Giménez paid out $113,000 to 10 businesses in Florida or Virginia for consulting services. His largest expenditures included $42,000 paid to Alexandria-based Convert Digital for “digital consulting” and $40,000 for “fundraising consulting,” split between Miami-based Columbus Strategies and consultant Nikki Rapanos, each of which got $15,000, and RBF Strategies of Tampa and Alexandria-based The Theodore Company, which respectively received $6,000 and $4,000.
Giménez also sought consultation for compliance, communications and strategy.
He spent roughly $18,000 on campaign activities. Of that, $5,800 covered travel and lodging costs, $5,100 paid for sponsorships with the Republican parties of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, $3,000 went to meetings and food, $2,300 paid for software and $1,800 funded digital campaign marketing.
Aside from paying a $10,440 qualifying fee for the race, the remainder of Giménez’s Q2 spending covered general upkeep costs and donation processing fees.
Giménez faces three Republican Primary opponents: Spanish radio host, actor and news host Carlos Garin, Jeremiah Schaffer and K.W. Miller, who ran for Congress in 2020 as a no-party candidate.
Garin added just enough of his own money to his campaign account in Q2 to cover the qualifying fee. His only outside donation was a $500 check from Muleshoe, Texas-based retiree Blanca Mendoza.
Miller has yet to report any campaign activity and could be subject to a fine by the Federal Election Commission for failing to meet the quarterly filing deadline.
Schaffer, who forwent paying the qualifying fee to instead run as a write-in candidate, continued a streak he began in the first quarter of 2022 by raising nothing in the last quarter. He still has nearly $27,000 to spend with less and less runway to do so before the Primary Election.
Two Democrats are running in the district as well.
There’s retired Miami-Dade County Public Schools police captain and former state Rep. Robert Ascencio, who loaned his campaign $10,440 to pay the qualifying fee and had no money remaining by the end of last month.
The other Democrat, Juan Paredes, filed to run for Congress on June 3, switched to CD 28 on June 14 and paid his qualifying fee the same day, according to the Division of Elections.
Other than that, there are no documents posted to the FEC website detailing his campaign finance activities last quarter.
CD 28, which was added to reflect the 2020 Census, is Florida’s southernmost district and encompasses a large, southwestern portion of Miami-Dade County and all of Monroe County.
The Primary Election is on Aug. 23, followed by the General Election on Nov. 8.