Hotels, nightclubs and real estate fund much of Miami Beach Commission’s Group 3 race

Four Miami Beach Commission seat candidates representing Group 3 have reached the end of their fundraising campaigns, although it remains to be seen whether the muscle of the money will translate into a victory on Election Day.

If the power of fundraising ends up making a difference, the real estate investor Stephen cohen will be the one who succeeds the commissioner with limited mandate Michael gongora with a win on Tuesday. The 43-year-old Democrat has raised more than $ 311,000 since entering the race in February. Almost everything is his own money.

And he spent most of it too. As of October 15, the most recent report date available for Miami Beach candidates, Cohen said he only had $ 17,000 after spending more than two-thirds of his war chest on direct mail, digital ads, TV spots, research, consultation and payment of some campaign staff. .

Cohen’s closest competitor in the fundraising department is another first-time candidate Melissa Beattie, president of the Association of owners of the Venetian island. Like Cohen, the 46-year-old registered independent poured a significant amount of her own money into her campaign, which last reported raising around $ 239,000.

In total, Beattie gave herself $ 145,000 – roughly the same amount her campaign spent between September 1 and October 15. She now has approximately $ 38,500.

Beattie, whose previous government experience includes serving as the former mayor’s chief of staff Philippe levine and campaign work for Gov. Ron DeSantis‘, has received 39 donations since the beginning of September. Most were individual contributions ranging from $ 100 to $ 1,000.

The Grand Hotel on Collins Avenue donated $ 1,000, as did the Miami Association of Realtors.

His expenses were largely devoted to advertising, including approximately $ 45,000 for Brad herold, vice president of the Alabama-based campaign advertising company Other Strategies; $ 33,000 to Parabellum Strategies, of which Herold is president; and $ 47,000 to the Miami Beach consulting firm Miranda’s plea.

If he had entered the race earlier, the Miami Beach planning board member Alex Fernandez may have overtaken all his opponents. The Republican-turned-independent raised nearly $ 131,000 despite submitting his candidacy in September.

Fernandez, 35, has extensive government experience. Now Senior Communications Assistant and Legislative Assistant to the Miami-Dade Commissioner Rebecca Sosa, who donated to his campaign, Fernandez worked as an assistant to the former mayor of Miami Beach Matti Bower and former Miami Beach commissioner Deede Weithorn. He has also served on the city’s Police Citizen Relations Committee, Charter Review Committee, and Miami-Dade Affordable Housing Advisory Council.

He’s no stranger to the campaign either, having appeared in 2009 against Góngora, who backed him this time around.

Since September 1, Fernandez has added more than $ 130,000 to his campaign coffers. Of that amount, approximately $ 48,000 was his own money. Regardless of his campaign, Fernandez may – but hadn’t done so by Oct. 15 – fund $ 16,000 from A Safer Miami Beach, a campaign communications organization formed around the same time he signed up for. the race. Fernandez filed a contribution solicitation report with the city naming the EOC as the funding source.

Fernandez’s campaign received 110 contributions not counting the money he gave himself. Many were from the real estate industry, including $ 6,000 from Miami Florida East Coast Industries, its subsidiaries and its employees and $ 3,000 in Massa investment group, also from Miami, and its subsidiaries.

Money in A safer Miami beach, $ 10,000 came from several companies belonging to the Crescent Heights development company. Lawyer Abraham galbut, brother of Crescent Heights, general manager Russel galbut, added an additional $ 1,000.

The restaurant, hospitality and entertainment industry, extremely vital to Miami Beach’s economy, also generously donated to Fernandez. The companies behind the revitalization Epanola Path donated approximately $ 5,000. Joel stedman, Owner of Turn nightclub – one of many Ocean Drive hotspots opposing a reduction in 2 a.m. liquor sales in the South Beach entertainment district proposed by the mayor Dan Gelber – donated $ 1,000, just like Chelsea Hotel, Hotel Croydon, the Two by Two bar and the Nakash family, which owns the Edison Hotel, the Breakwater Hotel, the Villa, the Casa Casuarina, the Victor Hotel and the Ocean Hotel.

Fernandez holds just over $ 31,000 not counting the untapped $ 16,000 of ECO funds. Its expenses are standard campaign costs, including web design, advertising, signage, promotional clothing, food, mailings, text messaging, community outreach, office supplies, and expenses. qualification that all applicants must pay.

Entered the race in January, the Democratic real estate broker Michel Barrineau had the most clue to making a dent in fundraising. As of October 15, he had raised $ 42,000, including a personal loan of $ 10,000. That doesn’t count the extra $ 8,000 he paid out of pocket in campaign supplies, which he recorded as in-kind expenses.

Barrineau, 63, was in contention for the Miami Beach Commission two years ago. Although it has obtained the approval of Miami Herald, he placed third in a three-way race for Group 4. He is a former member of the city planning council and former president of the Fifth Neighborhood Association and the Miami Beach United community group.

Between September 1 and October 15, Barrineau added $ 5,650 to its campaign coffers with contributions ranging from $ 50 to $ 1,000. Like his opponents – and naturally, given his profession – a large part of these gains came from the real estate sector, including $ 2,000 from Massa Investment Group and its subsidiary Mr. Hospitality.

He had a little over $ 5,000 in his last report, having spent the preponderance of his funds on signage, advertising, campaign work, food and transportation.

Election day is November 2. If no candidate obtains more than 50% of the vote, the two candidates who receive the most votes will face each other in a second round on November 16.

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