Jared Moskowitz taps local donors, national groups to add $474K in Q1 toward CD 23 defense

Ex-Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth, a former supporter of Moskowitz’s, led a crowded Republican Primary field with $223K raised.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz added $474,000 to his re-election war chest in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District last quarter through a blend of progressive and Israel-supporting donations from three dozen political committees and advocacy organizations.

After spending roughly a third of that between Jan. 1 and March 31, he had $614,000 left to spend going into the second quarter, including a $181,000 self-loan that is fully refundable if unused.

Meanwhile, a former supporter of Moskowitz’s — ex-Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth — led a crowded Republican Primary field with $223,000 raised since Jan. 2. Of that, $100,000 was self-loaned.

Weinroth’s first-quarter gains were more than the combined fundraising of half a dozen other candidates seeking the GOP nod in August.

Moskowitz received around 260 personal donations in Q1 collected largely through the Democratic fundraising platform, ActBlue, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Several locals gave $6,600 — the maximum allowable under federal law, representing $3,300 apiece for the Primary and General Elections, which are considered separate races. Among them:

— Sugar giant Florida Crystals co-owner Alfonso Fanjul and his wife, Raysa.

— Financier Mark Bell of Boca Raton-based Marc Bell Capital.

David and Leslie Cantor, President and Vice President of Boca Raton-based Victory Wholesalers Group.

— Deerfield Beach-based Dealer Services Network CEO Jason Strochak and owner Victoria Strochak.

Richard Schechter of West Palm Beach, CEO of the Bainbridge Companies.

Thirty-six political committees, advocacy groups and corporate giving apparatuses gave to Moskowitz too.

His biggest contributions included $22,000 from the Democracy Summer 2024 joint fundraising committee run by Maryland U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, $10,000 from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and $5,000 from GuideWell Mutual Holdings Corp., doubling its previous donation.

Moskowitz’s spending covered various consulting costs, travel, supplies, payroll expenses and taxes, software, accounting services, postage and $15,000 in repayments for self-loans. He also made three-figure donations to the Broward Democratic Senior Caucus, Congregation Kol Tikvah, East Side Democrats of Broward and Palm Beach County Democratic Club.

Robert Weinroth, who endorsed Jared Moskowitz for Congress in 2022, told Florida Politics he’s disappointed with Moskowitz for not doing enough to check the Democratic Party’s leftmost lawmakers. Image via Robert Weinroth.

Weinroth, who switched parties last year after a first-time Republican candidate unseated him on the Palm Beach County Commission, relied solely on grassroots donations and his bank account last quarter. His six Primary competitors took the same fundraising approach.

More than 100 people gave to him in Q1. Several gave $6,600, including office real estate executive Chad Moss of Fort Lauderdale-based MFO Worldwide, NextGen Management billing executive Helen Fried and Tiziana Milan, a Highland Beach-based interior designer.

Boca Raton health care technology and real estate executive Lewis Stahl, who served prison time and was ordered to pay more than $6 million in restitution after being convicted of tax evasion in 2019, also chipped in the maximum amount.

Since his early release during the first wave of COVID-19, Stahl has joined the Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council as Vice Chair and been active in campaign giving, with recipients including Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, Democratic Palm Beach State Attorney candidate Alexcia Cox, Palm Beach Commissioner Michael Barnett and one of Barnett’s challengers, Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores.

Weinroth spent more than $50,000 on printing, web design, media and campaign consulting, community outreach, software, food, credit card processing fees, accounting services and campaign management.

By April 1, he had $172,400 remaining.

Carla Spalding, a U.S. Navy veteran who lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz last cycle by 10 percentage points, placed second among Republicans in fundraising last quarter with a $76,500 haul.

Around 220 people gave to her campaign. However, just 13% were Florida residents.

Spalding spent $40,000 on consulting, travel, printing, mail services, subscriptions, advertising, web services, campaigns staff wages, canvassing, office expenses and fundraising fees. She ended the quarter with $9,000.

Others GOP candidates include:

Joe Kaufman, a counterterrorism expert and nonprofit executive who filed to run Feb. 21. He raised $37,500 in Q1, inclusive of a $15,400 self-loan, spent $1,850 and had $33,700 left at the end of the quarter.

Steven Chess, a businessman who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in CD 23 two years ago and filed again in October to run this cycle. He raised $20,000 last quarter, all of it self-loaned, and had $17,250 remaining after spending $2,750.

Joe Thelusca, a Royal Palm Beach pastor who filed to run Aug. 16 and raised $16,600 last quarter through six personal checks, only one of which was from a Florida resident living south of CD 23. He also spent $17,000, leaving himself with $1,600 by April. So far, he’s transferred nearly $21,000 from his bank to his campaign account.

Darlene Swaffer, an insurance executive who has been running for Congress every two years since 2020 and placed third in the Republican Primary last cycle. She began fundraising this cycle in February and collected $13,000, including a $1,000 self-loan. All donations came from Florida residents. She also spent $4,500, leaving herself with about $9,500 to end the quarter.

Gary Barve, a former student at Liberty University and past candidate for the Santa Clara (California) City Council. He reported a Q1 fundraising haul of $275, $1,700 in spending and a campaign account balance of -$1,400. Since filing in October, Barve has raised $7,600, inclusive of two $3,300 donations from Virginia residents with his last name and $272 from Florida donors.

Rafael Ortiz, a U.S. Army Veteran, who filed to run in November but has yet to file a campaign finance report, according to the Federal Election Commission.

CD 23 straddles Broward and Palm Beach counties from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale and leans Democratic. President Joe Biden beat Donald Trump there in 2020 by a 13-point margin, according to elections data analyst Matt Isbell of MCI Maps.

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

Candidates faced a Monday deadline to report all campaign finance activity 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.

One comment

  • Charlotte Greenba

    April 20, 2024 at 5:03 pm

    Jared gets $$ from many Jewish donors but never castigates the antisemitic Squad. Sickening

Comments are closed.


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