Carlos Giménez adds $178K to CD 28 defense war chest with boost from Majority Whip committee

Carlos Gimenez FB
About half of the personal checks Giménez received last quarter came from donors in his district, compared to just 16.5% for his challenger.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez raised more than $178,000 last quarter through a blend of personal checks, corporate contributions and a sizable infusion from a joint fundraising committee helmed by House Majority Whip Tom Emmer.

Emmer Majority Builders, a committee the Minnesota Republican launched last year to support 31 GOP incumbents and candidates, transferred $27,000 into Giménez’s coffers in late March. It accounted for 15% of the sophomore lawmaker’s gains in the quarter.

His Democratic challenger, retired Navy Commander Phil Ehr, amassed $125,000 in the same stretch while eschewing any donations from businesses or political organizations. But as was the case in the fourth quarter of 2023, when he outpaced the incumbent in fundraising, Ehr continues to lag far behind in cash on hand.

Giménez, a former Miami-Dade County Mayor and Miami City Manager, ended Q1 with more than $1 million in the bank. Ehr closed the quarter out with $48,500 and more than $289,000 in debt, inclusive of $53,000 worth of self-loans.

Close to 70 people donated to Giménez last quarter, close to half of whom listed Miami-Dade or Monroe County addresses within Florida’s 28th Congressional District, which he’s represented since January 2021.

Several people 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:

— Investor and real estate developer Ed Broyhill of North Carolina.

— Coral Gables-based freight shipping executive Eduardo Del Reigo of PayCargo.

Richard Emmet, managing director at New York City-based trading firm Jane Street Capital.

— Miami-based Unavista Insurance President Ania Herrera and CEO Ivan Herrera.

— Dallas real estate developer Ross Perot Jr., the son of former presidential candidate Ross Perot.

Georgia Republican U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop gave Giménez $2,000 through his political action committee.

A handful of sugar companies chipped in, none more so than American Crystal Sugar Co., which donated $5,000 through a PAC. Idaho-based Amalgamated Sugar Co., the Southwest Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, Western Sugar Cooperative and Minnesota-Dakota Farmers Cooperative Sugar PAC each gave $1,000.

Giménez also took $4,000 from Illinois-based aviation company AAR Corp.; $2,500 apiece from Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, the American Bankers Association and American Council of Engineering Companies; and $1,000 from defense contractors Parsons Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., the National Association of Realtor and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

He spent close to $72,000. Most of it ($50,000) went to the National Republican Congressional Committee. Another $5,000 went to the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee.

The remainder covered software, bank and credit card transaction fees, and consulting for media, digital services and compliance.

Ehr, who in October switched from seeking U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s seat, collected close to 130 personal contributions. Just 21 of them — 16.5% of the total — came from donors who listed addresses in Miami-Dade or Monroe.

His $6,600 givers included former American Airlines President and Chair Robert Crandall, Boston-based Vincent Ryan of private investment firm Schooner Capital, Jacksonville-based real estate investor JoAnne Tredennick and truck refurbishment executive Evan Corns, who made the news in June 2000 when he and his wife purchased the former Key West home of playwright Tennessee Williams.

Ehr spent $144,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31 on communication services, compliance, fundraising and digital consulting, travel, software, call time services, web services and a ticket to a Democratic Veterans Caucus of Florida event.

Two other Democrats filed last year for the CD 28 race. Both have yet to file campaign finance reports.

The first, business owner Marcos Reyes, dropped out of the CD 28 contest in January to instead run for a seat in the Legislature representing House District 119. So far, he’s the only person to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Juan Porras.

Reyes told Florida Politics that while he was passionate about running for Congress, he felt he needed more experience at the state level.

“I don’t think it’s my time,” he said. “I have decided to run in a local race for Florida House District 119, (where) I believe I can make a positive impact.”

The other candidate, former Department of Juvenile Justice case manager Jacqueline Boulin Romain, doesn’t appear to live in CD 28. Her LinkedIn page and filings with the Federal Election Committee say she lives in St. Augustine. She has also filed to run in Florida’s 5th Congressional District, which includes St. Augustine.

CD 28 spans a southern portion of Miami-Dade, including Homestead and Florida City, and all of the Keys in Monroe. The district alternated blue and red prior to Giménez’s victory in 2020, when he unseated then-Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is now running against Scott.

Giménez won a second two-year term in November 2022, when he defeated former Democratic state Rep. Robert Ascencio and GOP write-in candidate Jeremiah Schaffer with 64% of the vote.

Candidates faced an April 15 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

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 23, 2024 at 4:30 pm

    But who dat he is pictured with for this post? Is it Trump or Rhonda? Hard to say.

Comments are closed.


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