J.C. Planas reports $50K raised for Miami-Dade Supervisor bid; a supporting PC stacked another $500K
Image via Juan-Carlos Planas.

Juan-Carlos Planas
Miami-Dade hasn’t had a voter-chosen Supervisor of Elections since 1957.

Former Rep. Juan Carlos “J.C.” Planas amassed more than $50,000 between July and September toward his bid to be Miami-Dade County’s first elected Supervisor of Elections in decades, according to his campaign.

A political committee called Friends of JC Planas, which Planas’ campaign denied being affiliated with, raised $500,000 through a single donation late last month. The sole donor listed is Eduardo Fernandez, a mortgage loan originator from Miami.

The PC’s Treasurer and Fernandez’s wife, Adriana Fernandez, who also works in mortgage lending, said Planas and his wife are “dear family friends.” She donated $500 in September to Planas’ campaign, which she said is unconnected to the PC.

“We support his intended policies, and launching this political committee affirms that a bipartisan group of residents are coming together to support his candidacy,” she told Florida Politics, adding that while Planas is Democrat, she and her husband are registered Republicans.

Planas’ $50,000 haul is partially reflected in his reporting with the county. His campaign account shows he raised more than $36,000 since July 1. Most donations came from fellow lawyers in three-figure sums.

His campaign attributed his third-quarter gains to “a bipartisan network of supporters” and a successful campaign kickoff event Sept. 17 during National Voter Registration Day.

“I am honored and humbled by the support we’ve received in our mission to continue Miami-Dade’s legacy of safe, free, and fair elections for all,” he said in a statement. “As the next Supervisor of Elections, I will defend our democracy while making sure every eligible voter has the access and ability to exercise their civic rights.”

An ethics and elections lawyer, Planas is running to succeed Miami-Dade Supervisor of Election Christina White, who said in June that she will not seek election to the post she was appointed to in 2015.

Planas is set to face at least one Democratic Primary opponent, Willis Howard, a campaign consultant and former Chief of Staff in North Miami.

Ruth Swanson, a 2020 election denier who last year ran unsuccessfully to unseat U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, is the sole Republican running so far.

Howard raised $31,500 and spent $1,200. Swanson, who filed for the race in June, has not yet filed a Q3 report and raised nothing in her first month campaigning.

Miami-Dade voters abolished several constitutional officers — including Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector and Property Appraiser — through the 1957 adoption of the county’s Home Rule Charter, which delegated their power to the Miami-Dade’s top executive official, now the county Mayor, who now appoints people to those positions.

But in 2018, Florida voters — including 58% of Miami-Dade voters — approved a constitutional amendment requiring every county in the state to elect those officers, as well as a Sheriff, by Jan. 7, 2025.

Primary races for Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections culminate Aug. 20, 2024. The General Election is on Nov. 5, 2024.

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

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