Sophia Lacayo enters Miami-Dade Commission race with mostly self-funded $187,000 haul
After months as the lone candidate in the Miami-Dade County Commission’s District 12 race, the Mayor of Doral Juan Carlos Bermudez has an adversary: the former commissioner of Sweetwater Sophie Lacayowho entered the contest last month adding more than $187,000.
Most of this money came from Lacayo’s own bank account or from companies to which it is linked. In addition to loaning herself $169,000, Lacayo received a $1,000 donation from her campaign treasurer, Thanya Lacayowho works at a tax services company based in Doral Solasi. The company is registered under Lacayo Trade Group Inc.which lists Sophia Lacayo as her CEO.
Lacayo’s countryside accepted $1,000 donations from eight other businesses bearing his name. A total of 12 people have donated to Lacayo’s candidacy through Feb. 28, with some donating as little as $25.
Accountant, entrepreneur and Spanish speaking radio hostLacayo defeated incumbent Isolina Maroño in May 2019 to serve on the Sweetwater Commission. Less than a year and a half later, Lacayo resigned and pleaded guilty to perjury after falsely claiming to live in the city while campaigning.
As punishment for the first-degree misdemeanor, Lacayo received a year’s probation. She also agreed to refrain from running for office during this period, to take an ethics course and to pay $3,750 in investigative fees, the The Miami Herald reported at the time.
As first reported by Political CortaditoLacayo’s campaign documents with Miami-Dade last month list his home as a 6,000-square-foot Doral home within District 12 boundaries. The home last sold for $2.85 million. dollars in September 2021 to Lacayo real estate groupwhich Florida Division of Corporations records show formed under Lacayo’s direction on August 12, 2021.
Lacayo’s Twitter page says it is focused “on my citizens, local development, equality for all and (freedom) to our oppressed countries”. The page includes a link to a campaign website, which appears to have already been used for his candidacy for the Sweetwater Commission. A second website supporting his Sweetwater campaign is also still active.
Lacayo hadn’t spent anything as of February 28.
She faces Bermudez, who served as Doral’s founding mayor during the city’s first decade and was re-elected to that position in 2016.
Since filing for the Miami-Dade County Commission seat in July 2021, he has raised more than $523,000 between his campaign account and political committee. This includes an $83,000 haul last month, which relied heavily on three sectors: real estate and development, transportation and freight, and legal, lobbying and government relations.
Bermudez’s two largest donations were $10,000 each. One came from Rudy Touzetfounder and CEO of a commercial real estate company Banyan Street Capital. The other is listed as coming from Amelia Hialeaha mixed-use development by Prestige Builders Group.
Another $5,000 came from JC30 Consulting & Management, a construction management firm whose address was listed in a November donation to the Florida Political Committee. Common voices belongs to Humberto Ortiz. Oritz is president of a general contracting company based in Hialeah AUM Construction.
He accepted five $1,000 donations from businesses linked to a Miami-based homebuilder Luis Boschetti.
Contributions for the same amount came from the construction company Lemartec Corp. and Ben Gilbert of a multinational construction, engineering and energy company MasTecwhose owners are teaming up with the football star David Beckham build a massive and intricate stadium on a Miami green space near Miami International Airport.
From the legal and lobbying sector, Bermudez received a check for $5,000 from Florida Partnerswhich operates under the direction of Brian Maywho worked as the former mayor of Miami-Dade Alex Penelas’ campaign manager and chief of staff.
Florida Partners gave the same amount to the former Miami Beach commissioner by Micky Steinberg Miami-Dade Commission Campaign in November.
The Strategic Edge Inc., a Coral Gables-based public affairs firm, that the Florida Division of Corporations lists as Maydonated $2,500.
Bermudez received $1,000 from the government affairs adviser Leslie Pantin and another $1,000 from Pantin Gov LLC. He also got $1,000 from lobbying firm Rubin Turnbull & Associates and A Stronger Floridathat Rubin Turnbull director of operations Celeste Camm short.
Timothee Riera Gomez of government relations firm Prime Strategies donated $1,000. Just like the former senator. Oscar Braynon II of the Southern Group.
Four companies tied to Miami commercial truck dealership TruckMax donated $1,000 each.
Other checks for $1,000 were from Dolphin Towing and Recovery Inc., American Towing Services, Alpine Towing, Vice Towing, Excalibur Towing CEO Ramon Crego and Raul RodriguezCEO of an ambulance company National medical transport.
Road freight company MVC transport donated $200. Two businesses that share his address donated $100 each.
Miami Dolphins billionaire and owner of Hard Rock Stadium Stephen Ross gave $5,000 to Bermudez through a limited liability company called South Florida Stadium.
Miami Yacht Experiencea Doral-based yacht charter company owned by Dieuveny Jean Louisfounder and CEO of a premium liquor company Toast distillerscontributed $1,000.
Bermudez spent about $800 last month. Most of it went to the RHF law firm in Coral Gables for “legal services.”
District 12 covers parts of West Miami-Dade, including Doral and the municipalities of Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Medley, Sweetwater, Virginia Gardens, and much of the county’s unincorporated area.
Bermudez and Lacayo are running to succeed commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diazwho is due to step down in November due to number of mandates approved by voters in 2012. He plans to run for mayor of Sweetwater, his longtime home, again.