Carlos Giménez raises $192K in Q2 to again defend CD 28 seat
Image via AP.

gimenez, carlos
So far, no one has filed to run against him this cycle.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez increased his war chest holdings to $900,000 in the second quarter of 2023 after raising about $192,000 and spending far less.

Since overwhelmingly winning re-election to a second term in November, the Republican former Miami-Dade County Mayor has raised more than $341,000 to keep his seat representing Florida’s 28th Congressional District.

So far, no one has filed to run against him this cycle.

While Giménez collected healthy sums from corporations and political groups, a significant share of his Q2 gains came through the personal checks of nearly 50 wealthy individuals.

Many amounted to $6,600, the inflation-adjusted limit candidates can receive through personal donations for the combined Primary and General Election campaigns, which the Federal Election Commission counts as separate races.

His maxed-out givers included:

— Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who has also given seven-figure donations to Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

— South Florida real estate tycoon Armando Codina, executive chair of Coral Gables-based Codina Partners.

— Dr. Barry Issenberg, director of the University of Miami Gordon Center for Simulation and Innovation in Medical Education.

— Lawyer and real estate investor Demetrio J. Perez, the son of late Miami City Commissioner Miami-Dade School Board member, and education and publishing mogul Demetrio Perez Jr. The younger Perez’s wife, Susan, gave another $6,600.

— Wyoming entrepreneur and philanthropist Jay Kemmerer, the longtime owner of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. His wife, Karen, gave $6,600 as well.

— Siblings Felipe Valls Jr. and Jeannette Valls-Edwards, the principals of the Valls Group, a company their late father founded whose holdings include the famous Versailles Restaurant where many South Florida politicians have congregated and held events. Each gave $6,600.

Maximo Alvarez, president of Doral-based Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, one of the largest such businesses in the state. Alvarez’s wife, Esther, and the company’s vice president, Sandy Reus, each gave $3,300.

Henry Howard, president and CEO of several Florida-registered businesses, including U.S. Mortgage Finance Group, donated $6,000.

Edward Easton, chair of the Miami real estate business The Easton Group, gave $3,000 directly and the same amount through his company.

Giménez received $5,000 contributions from real estate consultant and government affairs specialist Luis Mata; Michael Carricarte, CEO of life insurance company Olé Life (formerly Amedex), a fellow alum of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami; and Rex Barker, CFO and vice president of operations at real estate company José Milton & Associates.

Architect Jessica Milton, the granddaughter of the company’s late namesake, and Milton’s wife, Nilda, gave $5,000 as well.

Pepe Fanjul Sr., the vice chair, president and COO of sugar behemoth Florida Crystals, gave $3,300. So did his son, Pepe Fanjul Jr., the company’s executive vice president. Simon Falic, chair of Duty Free Americas, which operates some 180 airport stores, gave the same.

Other noteworthy personal contributions included $2,500 from George Feldenkreis, chair of Perry Ellis International, and $1,000 from Richard Fain, who last year stepped down as chair and CEO of Miami-headquartered Royal Caribbean Cruises after more than 33 years.

The biggest infusion Giménez received between April 1 and June 30 was an almost $39,000 transfer from the joint fundraising committee Gimenez Victory Fund, of which his campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee and LIBERTAD leadership PAC are participants. It’s transferred more than $93,000 since the Midterms last year.

Giménez’s second-largest gain was $11,600 from the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, a self-described “bipartisan, pro-Israel” group that was among his top donors during the 2022 cycle.

The Hispanic Leadership Trust, which bills itself as “the leading organization for conservative, Hispanic and Latino candidates,” gave $9,400 last quarter for a total of $14,400 since the November election.

Aviation groups and companies turned out for Giménez in Q2 as well. American Airlines donated $7,500 through a political action committee. Stephen Neuman, the company’s vice president, chipped in $1,000 directly.

There were also $1,000 contributions from the Allied Pilots Association PAC, aviation services provider AAR Corp. and Airlines for America PAC, a lobbying group for eight major airlines, including American, and shipping companies FedEx and UPS.

Other corporate donations included $10,000 from Jacksonville-headquartered tobacco giant Swisher International, $2,500 from the Honeywell conglomerate, which has given $5,000 this cycle, and $2,000 from the political donations arm of Verizon.

Giménez spent $26,000 in Q2. All but about a quarter of it paid for consulting services.

He paid $10,500 to Georgia-based Professional Data Services for “compliance consulting,” $4,000 to Tampa-based AM Strategies for “strategic consulting” and $4,500 to Influence Communications in Miami, also for “strategic consulting.”

The rest covered travel, food, shipping and storage costs.

CD 28 is a technically new district created to reflect the 2020 Census. But it’s largely the same district that elected Giménez in 2020 and, prior to his win, had alternated red and blue in several previous elections.

The district covers a southern portion of Miami-Dade, including Homestead and all of the Keys in Monroe County.

Candidates faced a July 15 deadline to report all Q2 financial activity through the end of June.

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.

One comment

  • AnneJohn

    July 19, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    Finally, my paycheck is $ 8,700 A working 10 hours per week online. My brother’s friend had an average of 12K for several months, he work about 22 hours a week. I can not believe how easy it is, once I try to do so.
    Detail Here—————————————————>>>

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