Demi Busatta Cabrera adds $25K in July as Democratic opponent hits cycle-high spending
Happy birthday to Demi Busatta Cabrera.

Demi Busatta Cabrera
With under four months to go before the General Election, the incumbent Republican’s war chest is more than quadruple the size of her challenger's.

Coral Gables Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera enjoyed support from the sugar industry, real estate agents, alcoholic beverage distributors, police and fellow Republicans, among others, to raise nearly $25,000 last month to defend her House District 114 seat.

She also spent $6,500, or less than half of what Democratic lawyer Adam Benna spent to supplant her.

As of July 29, with more than Cabrera had more than $315,000 between her campaign account and political committee, People Above Politics.

That may be because she didn’t need to dig into her own coffers; the Republican Party of Florida contributed more than $27,000 worth of in-kind aid, which went to polling and campaign staff.

Cabrera received $4,000 from sugar companies. That included $1,000 apiece from Stofin Co. and Agro-Industrial Management, both subsidiaries of sugar giant Florida Crystals, and Closter Farms and Vandergrift-Williams Farms.

Several subgroups of the Florida Association of Realtors collectively gave $3,000.

Gold Coast Beverage LLC, a subsidiary of the largest beer distributor in the country, gave $2,500. Quality Acquisition Company, a business under the umbrella of South Florida Anheuser-Busch distributor Eagle Brands Sales, chipped in $1,000.

The Dade County Police Benevolent Association gave $1,000. So did By the People, For the People, a political committee chaired by the group’s president, Steadman Stahl.

Two of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies gave as well. Comcast Corp. donated $2,500. AT&T contributed $1,000.

Other contributions included $2,000 from Fort Lauderdale-based Health Network One Inc. and $1,000 from The Home Depot.

Cabrera, who won office in November 2020 with more than 54% of the vote, also received a minor lift from a pair of GOP colleagues in the Statehouse, both of whom gave through their political committees. Jacksonville Rep. Lake Ray gave $1,500. Rep. Patt Maney of Walton Beach gave $1,000.

She regifted most of those donations, contribution $1,000 apiece to Rep. Michelle Salzman of Pensacola and Alexandra Compere, who is running for the Clay County Commission.

The rest of Cabrera’s expenditures covered accounting fees and volunteer food.

Benna, meanwhile, raised a comparatively paltry $7,000 and spent more than twice that last month. July marked his biggest 30-day period of spending since launching his campaign in January.

By July 29, with under four months to go before the General Election, he had $75,000 left between his campaign account and political committee, Sunshine Priorities.

Eleven people donated to Benna’s campaign last month through checks of between $10 and $500. Miami Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo, who in late June coasted into re-election unopposed, gave Benna $5,000.

The Florida Young Democrats donated $150.

Of nearly $15,000 Benna spent last month, 83% went to Plantation-based consulting firm MDW Communications for campaign text messaging and printing costs.

The remainder covered general upkeep expenses, including accounting and merchant fees.

Benna also received $2,400 worth of in-kind aid from the Democratic Party of Florida for payroll taxes and campaign worker salaries.

HD 114 covers part of Miami-Dade’s southern coast, including parts of Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and a sizable chunk of Coral Gables.

Candidates faced a Friday deadline to report all campaign finance activity through July 29.

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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