Iggy Alvarez didn’t file for the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s race until October. He still outraised 11 other candidates last quarter
Image via ALGO Law Firm.

Ignacio Iggy Alvarez -- ALGO Law Firm
He’s been raising money since July.

Republican lawyer and former police officer Ignacio “Iggy” Alvarez didn’t officially enter the crowded 2024 race for Miami-Dade County Sheriff until last week, but he still managed to outpace 11 other candidates vying for the job in third-quarter fundraising.

That’s because, although he wasn’t technically in the contest, he’d already started collecting donations in late July, when he opened a political committee called Law, Order, Justice and Integrity.

By Sept. 30, the end of Q3, he had collected $152,000 through fewer than 35 donations, most of them personal checks.

The haul was three times more than his closest fundraising competitor amassed with about a month’s extra time.

Alvarez, a 25-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department who retired in 2017 as a major of the special victims unit, tapped more than two dozen individual donors, a handful of local companies and a national trade group.

His largest gain was a $20,000 check from Kenneth Shanley, the founder and CEO of hotel software company Vindow. He received $10,000 apiece from real estate investor and education executive Rolando Mir, real estate investor Stuart Kalb and startup adviser and investor Abdellatif Bedier.

He also took $1,000 from Nelson Cuba, the former President of the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of engaging in an illegal gambling operation. Cuba received a year of house arrest, four years’ probation and no prison. At the time of his sentencing, he was working for Miami Lakes-based Nick’s Cigar Co, which among other things makes and sells Perdomo brand cigars.

The cigar company gave Alvarez $5,000 as well.

Three South Florida real estate companies chipped in. Fort Lauderdale-based JCH Holdings Group donated $10,000, while Miami investor Collective Zag and Miami Beach subcontractor Axeso Strategies gave $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

Other non-personal contributions included a $3,500 check from the Recording Industry Association of America and $2,000 from Midtown Towing of Miami.

Alvarez spent $6,437, leaving him with about $145,500 left in the political committee at the end of last month. Most of his spending covered merchant fees and campaign checks. He also paid $2,500 to the RHF Law Firm in Miami for legal services.

Fellow Republican and retired Miami-Dade Police Major Mario Knapp raised a comparatively modest $30,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30 through his campaign account and political committee, For a Safer Miami-Dade.

He received more than 125 personal checks, some as low as $5. Most were for three figures, and roughly 40% came from fellow law enforcement professionals.

The largest personal check was for $4,000 and came from a sports entertainment executive with a Miami Beach address named Robert Bryan.

Knapp also got $7,000 from Subsea Global Solutions, a diver technician company based in Miami, and $5,000 from Sunshine Gasoline Distributors.

After spending $11,000 on print supplies, advertising, consulting, legal fees and bank charges, Knapp had about $97,500 left going into the closing quarter of 2023.

Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Orlando “Orly” Lopez, a Republican, raised $12,575 since entering the race on Sept. 8. Of that, $12,000 was self-given. The remainder came through 12 personal checks.

Lopez, who sits on the Miami-Dade LGBTQ Advisory Board, also spent about $1,200 on campaign website costs.

Democratic Miami-Dade Police Major John Barrow, who filed for the race on Sept. 18, raised about $7,000 between his campaign account and political committee, A Safer Stronger Miami-Dade, in the 12 days that followed.

He also spent close to $4,000, mostly on campaign consulting.

All the donations he received, except for a $500 self-loan, were personal checks of mostly three-figure sums from people of various professional backgrounds.

Other Q3 financial activity in the Sheriff’s race included:

— Retired Miami-Dade Police officer Ernie Rodriguez, a Republican who filed Sept. 8. He raised $5,100 and spent $88.

— Retired Miami-Dade Police Lt. Rickey Mitchell, a Democrat who has operated a funeral parlor for three-plus decades. He raised about $3,696 and spent $9,972. Mitchell has given his campaign $275,000 in loans since he filed for the race in March. As of Sept. 30, he had about $255,000 left.

— Miami City Police officer Ruamen DelaRua, a Republican who became the first candidate to enter the race last November. He raised $3,075 last quarter, spent $2,693 and held $2,089 by the end of the quarter.

Jaspen Bishop of Homestead, a Republican who filed June 1 and raised $2,500 last quarter. He also spent $723 and had $1,777 left by Sept. 30.

— Democratic federal agent-turned-community activist Susan Khoury, who filed to run Sept. 14. She transferred $120 last month from her bank account to her campaign account and political committee, Khoury for Justice.

— Miami-Dade Police officer Rolando Riera, a Republican who filed Sept. 22. He reported no campaign activity.

— Retired Miami-Dade Police reserve officer Alex Fornet, a Republican. He entered the race Sept. 14. As of Thursday, he had not yet filed a campaign finance report.

Republican John Rivera, a retired Miami-Dade Police sergeant and former President of the police benevolent associations of Florida and Miami-Dade, filed for the race on Oct. 3 and won’t have to report on his fundraising and spending until Jan. 10.

Former Miami City Commissioner and Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez¸ also a Republican, is considering a run for Sheriff as well but has yet to throw his hat into the ring.

Miami-Dade hasn’t had an elected Sheriff since 1966, when voters there eliminated the position after a grand jury report revealed rampant corruption within the department. Instead, the county has a police director, who is appointed by and reports to the Mayor.

In 2018, however, 58% of Miami-Dade voters joined a statewide supermajority in approving a constitutional amendment requiring all 67 counties in Florida to have an elected Sheriff, Tax Collector, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts by early 2025.

Former Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez, a Republican-turned-Democrat, was widely considered a shoo-in for the returning Sheriff post until his attempted suicide on July 23 following domestic dispute at a Sheriff’s conference in Tampa.

He dropped out of the race Sept. 20.

The 2024 Primary Election is Aug. 20, followed by the General Election on Nov. 5.


This report was updated to correctly state when DelaRua filed.

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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