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Miami Beach’s Group 1 race attracts big money

 

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To view the candidates’ campaign finance reports, visit the Miami Beach City Clerk’s website.


cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

The race to fill the Miami Beach Commission Group I seat has attracted almost $300,000 in campaign contributions.

Often, a candidate’s donors gives voters a good idea of what he or she stands for.

In the Group I race, high-profile politicians, small business owners, homemakers and retirees have given to the four candidates running for office.

Hoping to land the seat are: business owner Mohammed Islam; Realtor Sherry Kaplan Roberts; Realtor Micky Steinberg; and retiree Elsa Urquiza. They are running to replace Commissioner Jerry Libbin, who is term-limited.

The election is Nov. 5. Early voting began this week and runs through Nov. 1.

Here are some highlights from each candidate’s campaign finance reports:

Islam

Islam has raised the least in his field: about $6,000 in total. Of that, about $600 were loans to himself. His contributors are mostly small business owners from around the county.

Roberts

Roberts counts many homemakers and retirees among her contributors.

“I have strong women’s support,” Roberts said.

She also touted contributions from “many, many activists, from Frank Del Vecchio to Nancy Liebman.”

In all, Roberts has raised about $91,000. Of that, she has lent herself $60,000.

Some notable contributors include Florida Rep. Luis R. Garcia, Jr. (D-Miami Beach) and Florida Sen.Gwen Margolis.

Steinberg

Steinberg leads the field in fundraising. She has raised $99,500 so far. She has lent herself $36,000.

Steinberg’s campaign has attracted some high-profile contributors. Billionaire Norman Braman and his wife each contributed $500. Big-time lobbyist Ronald Book and his company donated $1,000.

Steinberg also raised about $1,500 from the Havenick family, which has gaming interests in South Florida. They own the Magic City Casino and the Flagler Dog Track. However, the candidate said she is “firmly” against gambling and that, if elected, she would support sending a resolution to Tallahassee to confirm the city’s opposition to any expansion of gaming.

Urquiza

Urquiza has raised $77,500. Of that, $50,000 was a loan to herself.

She counts Herman Echevarria among her donors. He is a former Hialeah City Council member and high-profile marketing executive who appeared on the reality TV series, The Real Housewives of Miami.

The remainder of her contributors are a mix of lawyers, retirees, real estate managers and more.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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