James Reyes stacks $378K to lead Q1 fundraising for Miami-Dade Sheriff’s race

James Reyes headshot
That included $50K apiece from his current and former bosses.

Miami-Dade Chief of Public Safety James Reyes led a field of 17 candidates in fundraising for the county Sheriff’s race in the first quarter of 2024 with almost $378,000 collected between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Reyes, a Democrat, raised $92,500 last quarter through his campaign account and $285,000 through his political committee, Miami-Dade Safe & Secure.

The PC has been fundraising since May 2023. Combined with Reyes’ campaign collections since he jumped into the race on Jan. 22, he has amassed $480,000 to become Miami-Dade’s first elected Sheriff since the 1960s.

More than 215 people contributed to Reyes’ campaign last quarter. His biggest individual benefactors live outside the county.

Lewis Stahl, a health care technology and real estate executive in Boca Raton, donated $25,000. Early childhood education executive Maurice Vaughn, also from Boca, chipped in $24,000.

New Jersey developer Michael Fux, Fort Myers homemaker Lisa Gottstein and Sebring communications executive Matthew Hall each donated $10,000. So did Miami real estate broker Monica Veiga and retiree Giovanni Veiga.

Miami-Dade Community Services Chief Morris Copeland and Miami-Dade Chief of Preparedness and Forensics JD Patterson, Reyes’ immediate predecessor in the Public Safety Chief role, each gave $500.

Former Miami-Dade Transportation and Public Works Director Alice Bravo, who now runs her own infrastructure consulting firm, donated $250.

Reyes’ two biggest checks were for $50,000 apiece. One came from the political committee of Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, Reyes’ former boss. The other came from the political committee of Reyes’ current boss, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who gave an additional $1,000 to Reyes’ campaign account.

The political committee of Stephen Ross, Chair of The Related Companies and owner of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, gave $7,500.

Reyes spent $76,000 in Q1 on various consulting services, voter data access, staffing, outreach, advertising, food, media production, web services, and bank and donation-processing fees. He had about $327,000 left to spend going into the second quarter.

His closest fundraising competitor, Republican Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez, reported a haul of more than $212,000 last quarter.

He drew $86,000 into his campaign account and $126,500 into his political committee, Law and Order PC.

Combined with the political committee’s fundraising last year, before he officially threw his hat into the ring, Sanchez has raised more than $415,000 for the county’s top cop job. He had about $289,400 left after spending $123,500 in Q1.

Close to 125 people and many businesses in the real estate sector donated to Sanchez last quarter. The most generous was retired Miami Beach lawyer and investor David Flory, who gave $25,000.

Miami lawyer Richard Schulze gave $10,000. Boca Raton real estate developer Arthur Falcone donated $5,000, as did Coral Gables-based electrical contractor Hector Ortiz.

Augustin Herran, President and CEO of the Sedano’s Supermarket chain, gave $3,000.

Sanchez got $10,000 from a subsidiary of Coral Gables-based real estate firm Codina Partners and the same sum from 10 subsidiaries of the Miami-headquartered Legacy Residential Group.

Baroque Properties LLC gave $8,000. Mocca Realty LLC gave $7,000. Grove Bay Investment Group, a subsidiary of The TREO Group, kicked in $7,000. Century Homebuilders gave $5,000, as did Centennial Management Corp. through a handful of subcompanies.

MBB Auto Group, a luxury retail automotive company, donated $15,000.

Sanchez’s spending covered consulting, staffing, voter outreach, web services, legal, advertising and event costs. He gave $1,000 to a political committee called West Miami Families First, whose Chair is listed as a person called Milagros Milan, a name similar to that of a 1951 Italian film.

Assistant Miami-Dade Police Director Rosie Cordero-Stutz, also a Republican, placed third adding new campaign cash. She collected $106,000 through her campaign and PC accounts and has raised $166,000 since filing in October.

After spending more than $39,000 last quarter, she had $125,000 left going into April.

Seventy-five people gave to Cordero-Stutz. Her biggest donations all came from outside of Florida.

Zehava Goldberg, a New York-based executive, gave Cordero-Stutz $10,000. So did Brooklyn real estate professional Abraham Mandel. Other real estate-focused Brooklynite donors included Daniel Berkowitz, Joel Deutsch and Chaim Hager, who each gave $5,000.

RedSpeed Florida, the Sunshine State subsidiary of Illinois-based traffic camera company RedSpeed USA, donated $10,000.

Miami Beach-based design and innovation company ELF Group gave $6,000.

Cordero-Stutz’s spending went to consulting, marketing, accounting and credit card, banking and fundraising fees.

Retired Miami-Dade Police Major Mario Knapp, also a Republican, added more than $80,000 between his campaign account and political committee, For a Safer Miami-Dade. He’s raised more than $260,000 since entering the race in June and, after spending almost a tenth of that sum last quarter, held about $214,000 on April 1.

More than 90 people, many of them in law enforcement, donated to Knapp’s campaign last quarter. His biggest check was for $15,000 and came from Sports Lab LLC, a North Bay Village-based sports equipment company.

His expenditures were for consulting, advertising, bank and legal fees, travel, food and web management.

Thirteen other candidates turned in fundraising reports.

— Republican Miami-Dade Police Maj. Jose Aragu raised $68,000 last quarter and $137,000 since October. He had $115,000 left at the end of Q1.

— Republican Ernie Rodriguez, a retired Miami-Dade Police officer, raised $37,000 last quarter and $97,400 since September. He ended Q1 with $81,600 in his campaign account.

— Republican cop-turned-lawyer Ignacio “Iggy” Alvarez raised $25,000 in Q1 and $214,000 since October. As of April 1, he had $181,000 remaining.

— Democratic Miami-Dade Police Maj. John Barrow raised $20,500 last quarter, $69,750 since July and had $24,000 left at the end of Q1.

— Republican John Rivera, a retired Miami-Dade Police Sergeant and former police union President, raised $11,000 last quarter and $39,500 since October. His campaign account had $30,500 at the beginning of this month.

— Democratic former federal agent Susan Khoury raised $9,000 in Q1 and $40,000 since November 2022. She had about $34,000 left going into Q2.

— Democrat Rickey Mitchell, a retired Miami-Dade Police Lieutenant who now runs a funeral home business, added $5,000 to his campaign in Q1 and has raised $292,000 since March 2023. That includes $275,000 in self-loans. He had close to $214,000 left by the end of the quarter.

— Republican Jeffrey Giordano, a former Miami City Police hostage negotiator, raised $3,100 since filing in February and spent less than $5 through March 31.

— Republican Miami City Police officer Ruamen DelaRua raised $2,125 in Q1, $16,000 since November 2022 and held just under $1,200 going into April.

— Republican Miami-Dade Police Sgt. Orlando “Orly” Lopez raised $225 in Q1 and $15,300 raised since September. He had about $5,000 to end the quarter.

— Republican Alex Fornet, a retired Miami-Dade Police reserve officer, raised $80 in Q1 and $180 since September, of which he had $110 left to begin the second quarter.

— Republican Miami-Dade Police officer Jaspen Bishop raised nothing in Q1. He’s raised $2,500 since June and held about $1,400 by the end of March.

— Republican Miami-Dade Police officer Rolando Riera raised nothing last quarter and, so far, spent none of the $1,800 he’s collected since entering the race in September.

Candidates faced an April 10 deadline to report all campaign finance activities through March 31.

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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