As the 2016 Miami-Dade mayoral race heats up, so does the spending.
Joe Carollo, best known as a former Miami mayor but most recently an embattled manager of Doral, is working as a consultant for the reelection effort of incumbent Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Carollo worked for Gimenez's 2012 campaign, too, and an allied Gimenez committee is paying Carollo $6,000 a month through the firm Consulting Associates Group, according to finance records and interviews. Gimenez served as city manager of Miami when Carollo was the city's mayor in the early 2000s. Carollo was fired from his Doral job in April 2014.
"We've always had a close relationship," Carollo said Friday.
The committee, Miami-Dade Residents First, has raised more than $1 million and last month paid pollster Dario Moreno $19,000. In April, Jesse Manzano-Plaza, a lobbyist and Gimenez's 2012 campaign manager, signed on for a $7,000-a-month part-time job as committee spokesman and consultant. Professional fundraiser Brian Goldmeier's firm is so far earning $3,000 a week working for the committee.
Gimenez's rival, Raquel Regalado, also is assembling a team. Records filed by the committee she's using to challenge Gimenez, Serving Miamians, show one of her brothers, Jose Regalado, earning $10,000 since February for social-media work. He's received about $57,000 from the committee since 2013, when Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, father to both Regalados, was using the committee for his reelection bid. (Jose Regalado has said at least some of the money was pass-through payments for Facebook ads.)
Both Regalados worked for their father's campaign, and Raquel, a two-term member of the school board, earned about $10,000 through January 2014.
A company owned by Brian Andrews, the former WFOR-CBS 4 reporter who now works as a media consultant, received $10,000 from the committee in March. Andrews handled media arrangements for Regalado's March 8 campaign announcement. The committee in January also paid $8,000 to Creative Ideas, an advertising firm connected to campaign consultant Armando Gutierrez, a longtime ally of the Regalado family.
Between Serving Miamians and her campaign committee, Regalado has raised about $174,000 this year.
This was post was updated to include Joe Carollo's role, and to correct the month Creative Ideas received $8,000 from Serving Miamians.