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Union leader helping raise money for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez

@doug_hanks

The head of a local AFSCME union is on the host committee for Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez's first mega-fundraiser for his reelection campaign. 

Andy Madtes, who runs one of three local shops for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, is one of 61 committee members listed on the flyer touting Thursday's reception at the Biltmore in Coral Gables.

Gimenez filed his reelection papers Oct. 1, giving him a full 31 days to rack up a large debut fund-raising haul as he fends of a challenge by school board member Raquel Regalado. County Commissioner Xavier Suarez also is considering a run, and has cited fund-raising a top consideration for whether he takes on Gimenez. 

Gimenez invite 1027

The host committee includes a string of prominent lobbyists, developers, lawyers, real estate professionals and others with business before the county, including Jose Abreu, Freddy Balsera, Rodney Barreto, Kerri Barsh, Jeff Bartel, Mitch Bierman, Edgardo Defortuna, Bill Diggs, Ed Easton, Seth Gordon, Julie Grimes, Alex Heckler, Niesen Kasdin, Syl Lukis, Al Maloof, Brian May, Don Peebles, Ana Sotorrio and Bernard Zyscovich. 

As administrator for AFSCME 199, Madtes led the negotiations that resulted in AFSCME signing a three-year contract with Miami-Dade last year.  In Miami-Dade, AFSCME 199 represents 8,000 general county employees. (Two separate AFSCME shops represent workers at Miami International Airport and the Water and Sewer Department.) 

Of the 10 county bargaining units, five still are deadlocked with the Gimenez administration. Unions halls are generally considered unfriendly territory for Gimenez, who has pushed for employee pay cuts, leaner payrolls and privatization in an effort to hold down county spending. 

"They asked if I would be part of it, and I said I would," Madtes said Tuesday. "We haven't done an official endorsement yet. I have a good relationship with Carlos. He's been good to our local over the last year and a half."

AFSCME 199 did not endorse a candidate in the 2012 mayoral race, when Gimenez beat then-County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez.  Madtes said the union hasn't decided whether to make an endorsement in the 2016 race. 

Madtes said Gimenez's professional fund-raiser, Brian Goldmeier, invited to join the committee. How much has he given? "Nothing yet," Madtes said.

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