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Lerner Opens Mammoth Fundraising Lead Over Regalado

TONY WINTON | May 13, 2019

She’s only been a candidate for a month, but former Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner has blown past her rival Raquel Regalado when it comes to fundraising in the race for Miami-Dade County Commission District 7, the district covering Key Biscayne. Lerner raised more than $114,000 in April.

Regalado, a former member of the Miami-Dade County School Board, raised just $1,000 in the same period, although reports show her three-month total is $20,000.

Lerner touted her strong fundraising numbers as proof she has widespread support. “The people in District 7 are hungry for real leadership,” she said in a statement.

Pollster Fernand Amandi, a veteran of national, local and regional campaigns, said Regalado’s anemic April fundraising “suggests she is not really running, or has eyes on another seat, or is not taking the race seriously.”

He added: “These numbers border on disqualification” as a candidate.

Regalado did not return messages for comment.

Lerner’s fundraising report showed contributions from more than 160 individuals and businesses. Among those making contributions were Chad Friedman, Key Biscayne’s village attorney; U.S. Rep. Debbie Murcacell Powell; District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava (who is running for County Mayor); and Key Biscayne resident Bernard Horowitz.  Regalado’s April report showed a single contribution from the Malibu Hotel in Coral Gables for $1,000.

Regalado, the daughter of former Miami Mayor Tómas Regalado, did earn the endorsement of incumbent District 7 Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who is term-limited. Besides Key Biscayne, District 7 includes parts of downtown Miami, most of Coral Gables, Pinecrest, South Miami and Coconut Grove.