Miami Beach City Commissioner David Richardson raised nearly $40,000 between July and September toward his bid to be Miami-Dade County’s first elected Tax Collector in decades, his campaign reports.
That would bring his cash-in-hand total to almost $650,000, including $200,000 in self-loans and $318,000 in carry-over funds from prior campaigns.
Richardson, a Democrat, filed to run for the countywide office in March.
As of Tuesday, he remained the only candidate seeking the post that Peter Cam, a longtime county administration employee, has held since 2019.
Richardson’s campaign attributed his third-quarter haul to his “broad, bipartisan appeal, grounded in his decades-long expertise as a forensic auditor and Certified Public Accountant.”
“Every contribution to this campaign is a vote of confidence in our mission to provide financial accountability, transparency, and top-notch customer service to Miami-Dade residents through our County Tax Collector’s office,” he said in a statement.
“Together, we are building a campaign that reflects the values of our community and prioritizes the responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars. I am so grateful for all of the support thus far.”
While the deadline to report third quarter fundraising is Oct. 10, Richardson’s political committee, Floridians for Better Government PC, already lists $15,000 in gains for the period.
They include a $5,000 check from BTYT Holdings, a Delaware-registered limited liability company (LLC) whose address on Richardson’s donations ledger is linked to Ellsworth Law Firm and several other LLCs.
When BTYT Holdings donated $5,000 to Richardson in April, his political committee listed its business type as real estate. For the Sept. 29 donation, the PC listed it as an investment firm.
Richardson also received $5,000 from Mango’s Tropical Café, a popular nightclub on Ocean Drive whose employees protested a 2 a.m. curfew in the area, and another $5,000 from five businesses linked to real estate developer, investor and philanthropist Russell Galbut.
A self-described “budget guy” whose elected service includes terms in the Florida House, where he made history as one of the first openly gay candidates elected to the Legislature, Richardson is well-suited for the Tax Collector job.
He began his more than 30-year career as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1993, he opened a small business focused on forensic auditing of government contracts and has continued as a CPA since.
He has vowed, if elected, to revamp the Tax Collector office, including offering “mobile office hours” and “enhanced technology to streamline services.”
Miami-Dade voters made the Tax Collector and two other posts appointed positions in 1957 through the adoption of the county’s Home Rule Charter. In 2018, however, 58% of county voters joined a statewide supermajority in approving a constitutional amendment requiring all 67 counties in Florida to have an elected Tax Collector, Sheriff, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts by early 2025.
Miami-Dade’s Primary Election in 2024 is on Aug. 20, followed by the General Election Nov. 5.