Republican Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera raised more than $103,000 between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9 — by far her best-ever fundraising round to defend the seat representing House District 114, which she easily won two years ago.
Her best round of fundraising so far this election cycle was last September, when she amassed $67,000.
A month and a half before the Nov. 8 election, the newly minted Representative from Coral Gables saved about $372,000 campaign account and political committee, people above politicsto fend off her comparatively underfunded challenger, a Democratic attorney Adam Benna.
Several political committees have donated to Cabrera’s campaign over the past month, including lobbyists from the Everglades Water Trust, capital advice and Florida Justice Associationwhich brought her $5,000 each.
A stronger Floridaa policy committee chaired by Rubin Turnbull and Associates Director of Operations Celeste Cammgave $4,500.
In sheer numbers, no industry has donated more to Cabrera since September 1 than healthcare. She received $3,000 from Nashville-based Wellpath, $2,500 from Centene Management Co. and Orange Park Nursing LLC, $2,000 from Davita and insurance giant Humana, and $1,500 from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Miami-based Independent Living Systems, Florida Ambulatory Surgical Centers, South Florida Vision, Florida Medical Association, Dade County Medical Association, Council of Florida Family Practitioners, and Florida Society of Anesthesiologists each donated $1,000.
Other non-medical trade groups and unions also participated. Dade County Firefighters Local 1403 gave Cabrera $6,000, their second largest donation during that period. That Florida Engineers Political Action Committee given $1,000.
Cabrera’s largest check was for $7,500. It came from a Tampa-based holding company TECO energya subsidiary of the Canadian multinational company Emera Inc.
Other notable contributions included a $5,000 form Dosal Tobacco$4,000 from Associated Builders and Contractors, $4,000 from Clewiston agriculture giant US Sugar Corp. companies, $3,500 from NBCUniversal Media, $2,500 from Anheuser-Busch, and $1,000 from American Airlines.
Cabrera received ample aid from the Florida Republican Party, which provided nearly $11,000 worth of in-kind support for campaign personnel and research costs.
She also spent about $8,500. Of that, $1,000 went to the campaign Ivette Arango O’Doski, who is running for the Coral Gables City Commission. Cabrera gave another $1,000 to the failed court campaign by Renier Diaz de la Portillayounger brother of Miami City Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla and former State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla.
The vast majority of Cabrera’s spending, $4,300, went to the Tampa-based campaign communications and consulting firm SimWinsone of several companies and individuals Coral Gables City Commissioner Jorge Fors Jr. named in a Defamation lawsuit he filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court on Thursday.
Fors sues Cabrara’s husband Kevin Marino Cabrera, including for participating in a “civil conspiracy” to slander his public image ahead of the November 8 elections. The two men are compete in a runoff for the District 6 seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission.
Benna, meanwhile, raised just over $12,000 between August 1 and September 9 through his campaign account and political committee, sunshine prioritiesthanks to a mix of grassroots and organizational gains.
He also received a boost from the Florida Democratic Party, which contributed $12,400 in in-kind contributions towards campaign staff salaries, payroll taxes and research costs.
On September 9, he had more than $85,000 left.
Nearly 40 people have donated to Benna’s campaign, with checks coming in for as little as $1. Matthew LonkSenior Director of Sales at an Orlando-based solutions company Stax Payments, donated $1,200. Former editor of the Miami Herald David LawrenceFounder and Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida, contributed $150.
He also accepted $2,000 from the government agency DC-SOFL and $1,000 each from the Miami-based Affiliated Healthcare Centers and the Tallahassee-based Political Committee The ballot box PC.
Benna appeared to be on hiatus from campaign spending throughout August and early September. He said he spent just over $300, all on fundraising fees.
HD 114 covers part of Miami-Dade’s South Shore, including parts of Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and much of Coral Gables.
Election day is November 8th. Early voting for the Miami-Dade general election begins October 24 and runs through November 6.