Zoraida Barreiro didn't have to look far for the top donor in her campaign to succeed her husband, Bruno Barreiro, on the Miami-Dade County Commission. His congressional campaign recently donated nearly $100,000 to her county effort.
The $95,000 infusion of cash from the Barreiro congressional campaign to a committee supporting the Barreiro county race captures a husband-and-wife effort that has Zoraida inheriting many of Bruno's donors from his 20 years on the County Commission.
Having secured support from many of Miami-Dade's top donors, she's out-raising opponent Eileen Higgins nearly two-to-one in a June 19 runoff election to fill the remaining two years of Bruno Barreiro's term as the county's District 5 commissioner.
"I don't think donors want major change," said Esther Nuhfer, a veteran campaign fundraiser tapped by Zoraida Barreiro for her race. "Donors are happy. But let me tell you, just because you're giving Zoraida Barreiro a check does not mean you're going to get what you want."
The fundraising reports available on state and county websites at the close of business Friday hint at some of the closed-door maneuvering in a race for a rare open seat on the 13-member County Commission.
Higgins finished first in a four-candidate primary for the nonpartisan District 5 seat on May 22, a surprise showing that helped send donors her way.
Landmark, an affordable-housing developer with Miami-Dade contracts, gave Higgins $5,000 for the District 5 race in June. Landmark has been a top donor to Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, a Democrat who has been contacting donors and asking them to support Higgins, also a Democrat. Commissioner Xavier Suarez, an independent, is doing the same thing.
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