Mario Díaz-Balart Holds More Than $1M In Cash As He Faces Challenge From Adam Gentle – Florida Politics

Gentle, a Democrat, is seeking to unseat Republican Díaz-Balart, Florida’s longest-tenured Congressman.

Republican Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart is sitting on a massive war chest as he faces a challenge from Democratic candidate Adam Gentle. Díaz-Balart holds more than $1 million as of June 30, according to the latest financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Díaz-Balart raised just over $94,000 in the second quarter, spanning April 1-June 30. That’s not too far ahead of the nearly $67,000 Gentle added in the same period, after he announced his bid to challenge Díaz-Balart in late May.

But Díaz-Balart carried over plenty of cash from previous runs. Last cycle, he was unopposed en route to a 10th term in the House. That allowed Díaz-Balart to hoard even more cash in preparation for future runs.

During the second quarter, Díaz-Balart secured a $1,000 donation from his former Miami-Dade colleague, ex-U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The General Dynamics Corporation PAC donated $10,000 to Díaz-Balart. Such PACs are allowed to donate $5,000 per election (Primary and General) — well above the $2,900 per election cap for individuals.

The National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association PAC contributed $5,000 to Díaz-Balart, while the Seminole Tribe of Florida kicked in $2,900.

While Díaz-Balart holds just over $1 million in his campaign committee, Gentle ended the period with just under $42,000.

Gentle is an anti-corruption lawyer and a member of the LGBTQ community. He would be the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Florida if elected.

Díaz-Balart, meanwhile, is the longest-tenured current member of the Florida congressional delegation. He’s hoping to secure his 11th term in 2022. Díaz-Balart handily defeated Democratic candidate Mary Barzee Flores in 2018, winning with 61% of the vote to Flores’ 39%.

CD 25 covers parts of Miami-Dade, including Hialeah, Doral and Miami Springs. The district also stretches across the south to Collier and Hendry counties, though those boundaries could be subject to change in the decennial redistricting process.

Candidates and political committees faced a Thursday deadline to report all financial activity through June 30.

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