AJ D’Amico wins the Democratic primary for HD 113

Lawyer AJ D’Amico won the Democratic primary for House District 113, which covers central Miami-Dade County, including parts of Coral Gables, Key Biscayne and Miami.

With the early and mail-in vote totals compiled and all 54 precincts reported as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, D’Amico won 68% of the vote compared to 32% for the president of the Biscayne Neighbors Association. Andres Althabe.

D’Amico will now face a public affairs consultant and a GOP political insider Vicky Lopez in the November 8 general election. Lopez beat the entrepreneur and member of the Venezuelan American Republican Alliance Alberto Perosch in the Republican primary with 66% of the vote.

Democratic primary

D’Amico held a fundraising advantage heading into Tuesday, with nearly $151,000 raised since filing for public office in late November. These gains were achieved through a mix of grassroots and organizational donations.

He also earned key endorsements, including a nod from the outgoing state representative. Nick Duranwhose D’Amico district hopes to represent, and U.S. Rep. charlie christformer U.S. Representative. Donna ShalalaUnited Teachers of Dade, Florida Association of Realtors and a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union

A member of the Cuban-American Bar Association, D’Amico is a first-time political candidate. He works for the law firm Mase Mebane Seitz, based in Coconut Grove. Before joining the Democratic Party in 2017, he was registered to vote without party affiliation and as a Republican.

His past political work includes stints in the offices of the former Republican United States Representative. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former state senator. Rene Garcia. García is now county commissioner who leads the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

D’Amico’s campaign website lists priorities including helping to create and sustain jobs and the economy, housing affordability, various environmental issues, building climate-resilient infrastructure, gun safety and education, LGBTQ+ rights and overturning Florida’s recent abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Althabe is a retired lawyer from Uruguay. Arriving in Miami in 2013, he quickly became involved in local community activism. He served on several city boards, including committees overseeing code enforcement, planning and zoning, and quality of life issues.

For the past seven years, he has led the BNA, which includes condominium councils and homeowner associations. 16 residential towers in downtown Miami.

Althabe leveraged many of the relationships he developed through his position at BNA to raise funds, including many condo service providers whose maintenance and operations he helps oversee. This drew a lot of criticism and is said to have led to a reminder of the elections in May oust him as president of the Quantum on the Bay Master Association.

Althabe also received negative attention this month after the mayor of Miami-Dade Daniella Levine Cava warned him against using her image in materials to support her campaign after a letter with a photo of her emerged.

A group not directly linked to Althabe’s campaign paid for the mailer.

Althabe cited several accomplishments to make his case for state office, including successfully working with the city and county to protect Biscayne Bay, raising the minimum hourly wage for local condo workers to $15, and by securing millions of government dollars to build more park space, improve sidewalks, and control traffic in Miami’s urban core.

His campaign was endorsed by AFSCME FloridaMiami Commissioner Ken RussellMiami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora and former mayor of Miami Tomas Regalado.

Through mid-August, Althabe has raised over $82,000. This includes a $10,000 personal loan.

Republican primary

Lopez, a self-described “center-right candidate,” initially sought to run for a state Senate seat when she filed paperwork in March. Less than two months later, she reset his views on HD 113 to “avoid a contentious primary battle” with another Republican candidate for the upper house of the Legislative Assembly.

Lopez is a former member of the Lee County Commission. His background includes state-appointed positions specializing in education, prison rehabilitation, and justice reform during Crist’s previous tenure as governor and under former governors. Jeb Bush and Rick Scott.

She has also held several management positions in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

In 1997, she went to prison for violating federal mail fraud laws. She served 15 months of a 27-month sentence before the former president bill clinton commuted his sentence. Fourteen years later, a US District Court overturned his conviction. She has long maintained innocence of any wrongdoing.

Now the owner and operator of VLL Consulting, Lopez entered the primary election on Tuesday with a Platform prioritize increased public safety, support first responders, stand with veterans, expand affordable housing, improve education, protect the environment, improve mental health, strengthen the economy, health care affordability, infrastructure expansion, Second Amendment protections, and standing with the government. Ron DeSantis against federal mandates “that cripple supply lines, consumer goods prices, and a person’s ability to earn a living.”

She received endorsements from the South Florida Council of Firefighters, State Hispanic Chamber of CommerceFlorida Police Benevolent Association, Dade County Medical Association and Miami City Commissioners Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyesamong others.

Lopez proved to be the biggest fundraiser among all HD 113 contestants this cycle, raising $248,000 thanks to her. campaign account and political committee, common sense government, until mid-August. This includes a $50,000 personal loan.

Perosch entered the HD 113 fray in March with a personal investment of $150,000. Since then, he has raised about $14,000 in outside donations.

Perosch is a former president of several Florida-based companies now inactive and now works in real estate acquisition, sales and management. His campaign listed priorities including supporting housing development for first responders, maintaining a free market, protecting children from harm, protecting First and Second Amendment rights and combating the spread. of socialism.

Regarding the new state abortion ban, Lopez said she believes there should be exceptions in the law for victims of rape, incest and human trafficking. No such exception is currently in place. Perosch, meanwhile, said he was against exceptions.

Despite his newness to Florida politics, Perosch rubbed shoulders with many GOP bigwigs in the state, including DeSantis, the lieutenant governor. Jeanette Nunezeducation commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and Hialeah Rep. Alex Rizo.

They and others stood behind and applauded Perosch last year at a press conference highlighting DeSantis signing of a bill penalizing “Big Tech” for alleged conservative censorship.

His remarks made headlines long before he ran for office. Before the 2020 elections, POLITICS quoted him as describing the Democratic U.S. Representative. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York as “the reincarnation of (Hugo) Chávez made a woman”.

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