A son of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is launching a lobbying firm and touting his past work for President-elect Donald Trump.
C.J. Gimenez, previously a lawyer and lobbyist with Balsera Communications in Coral Gables, on Thursday announced the launch of Hemispheric Consulting Group, which would be focused on "advocacy before the Federal government." The younger Gimenez was a lobbyist for Trump's business interests in the Miami area.
"Having worked closely with the President-Elect over the last three years I can personally attest to his laser like focus on resolving issues in a direct and accountable manner," Gimenez said in the release. "His election presents a great opportunity for the entire hemisphere, not just our country. My objective is for Hemispheric Consulting Group to be a bridge between North and South as part of that process.
"Latin America will see that the Trump presidency is an opportunity to redefine bilateral relations in a positive and compelling way," he said.
Balsera's Trump contract made for some awkward moments as the mogul entered the Republican presidential campaign in 2015. Freddy Balsersa is a top Democratic consultant. During the campaign, Balsera said Trump was no longer a client of the firm.
Gimenez, 39, is a Republican, as is his father, the mayor. But during his reelection campaign last fall, Mayor Gimenez announced he would vote for Hillary Clinton and urged Trump to drop out of the presidential race over an audio tape that caught him talking about groping women.
Thursday's release describes the younger Gimenez as "lead consultant" for the Trump Organization in South Florida and "directly involved in the redevelopment" of the Trump National Doral, as well as the golf tournament and Miss Universe pageant hosted by Trump.
The younger Gimenez's Trump work drew controversy in early 2015 when it was revealed that Trump was in talks with the Gimenez administration to take over a county golf course. The deal fizzled, and the younger Gimenez said he wasn't involved in the county effort beyond offering legal advice to a Trump aide.
Gimenez said one of his partners in the firm is Julio Ligorria, a Latin American political consultant and Guatemala's current ambassador to the United States. Corporate registration filings show the firm's primary address is in Coral Gables.
The full release is below:
MIAMI, FL – January 5, 2017 – Carlos J. Gimenez, a Miami-based public affairs specialist, announced today that he is part of a team launching Hemispheric Consulting Group LLC, a new entity established to provide guidance, analysis and advocacy before the Federal government. HCG will focus primarily on foreign policy, international trade, environmental and energy related issues with a strong emphasis on Latin American interests.
Until recently Gimenez served as Vice President and General Counsel of Balsera Communications, a public affairs and media relations firm. A lawyer by training, he previously worked on land use, government relations and regulatory issues as an attorney.
During the last three years, Gimenez served as lead consultant for The Trump Organization’s activities in South Florida and was directly involved in the redevelopment of The Trump National Doral Miami Resort, the World Golf Championship and the Miss Universe Pageant. He also frequently served as a spokesperson for the Trump Organization with English and Spanish media.
“Having worked closely with the President-Elect over the last three years I can personally attest to his laser like focus on resolving issues in a direct and accountable manner. His election presents a great opportunity for the entire hemisphere, not just our country. My objective is for our Hemispheric Consulting Group to be a bridge between North and South as part of that process.”
Gimenez continued, “Latin America will see that the Trump presidency is an opportunity to redefine bilateral relations in a positive and compelling way.”
One of Gimenez’s partners in HGC, Ambassador Julio Ligorria, added, “Our company can bring to Latin America the correct insight into the approach that President-Elect Trump will have. Carlos, our team and I have worked closely over the years and I appreciate how much he understands the importance of strong bilateral relations. We are very bullish on what will come under President Trump.”
Gimenez will serve as Managing Director of HCG.