Credits: Florida Politics
Orlando Sentinel & Univision News
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George Soros spends $1.8 million in Florida local races; backs four winners, two losers
Billionaire New York Democratic campaign financier George Soros‘s interest topped $1.7 million in Central Florida politics and $1.8 million statewide this year as he financed independent campaigns that helped three Democrats win local or state legislative races while three others he backed lost.
Soros’ biggest investment came early, backing Aramis Ayala to the tune of $1.38 million in TV commercials and mailers provided by his Florida Safety & Justice political action committee to fuel her winning long-shot bid upsetting incumbent State Attorney Jeff Ashton in Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit in August. Ashton was overwhelmed by the campaign, most of it attack ads, and lost.
In October a second PAC, United For Progress weighed in on four other Central Florida races and a Miami race. The PAC financed mailers, polling and other services backing Vic Torres in Senate District 15, Emily Bonilla in Orange County Board of Commissioners District 5, Benny Valentin in Florida House District 42, and Beth Tuura in Florida House District 47.
Torres and Bonilla won, defeating Republicans Peter Vivaldi and incumbent Commissioner Ted Edwards, respectively. Valentin and Tuura lost, to Republican incumbent state Reps. Mike La Rosa and Mike Miller, respectively.
In South Florida the PAC backed Robert Asencio, who defeated Republican David Rivera.
In the cases of Ayala, Bonilla, Valentin and Asencio, Soros’s committees appear to have spent more money on their candidacies than the candidates’ official campaigns could do.
The final numbers are not in – the latest campaign finance reports posted by the Florida Division of Elections go only through Nov. 3.
To date, the numbers show that in Central Florida, United For Progress spent $96,360 directly to back Bonilla; $82,307 to back Tuura; $81, 371 to back Valentin; and $16,306 to back Torres.
In South Florida the PAC spent $84,419 backing Ascencio.
In addition, United For Progress spent $70,000 on polling and other services, with no details available to show whether those services all the candidates’ the PAC was backing, or targeted specific races. All totaled, the PAC spent $433,000 in Florida.
Soros was the sole contributor to both PACS, according to Florida Division of Elections records.
Below is the link to a related article in the Orlando Sentinel
"Orange and Osceola counties" - Orlando
George Soros involved in a State Attorney race?
Below is the link from Univision News
George Soros activity in South Florida
"MIAMI -- Billionaire George Soros has a new crusade in his strategy to bankroll Democrats: mobilize Puerto Ricans in central Florida, many of whom are newcomers to a swing state that is crucial in the November 8 elections.
The Hungarian-born financier donated $200,000 this month to get-out-the-vote campaigns targeting what has already become the second-largest Latino group in the state after Cuban Americans.
Part of the donation will be channeled through United for Progress, a political action group whose goals are to educate Puerto Ricans on issues important to their community, according to the group's president Marcos Vilar. The funds will be earmarked for an email program promoting candidates in legislature races in districts with large Puerto Rican populations, Politico reported.
The deep economic crisis in Puerto Rico has prompted more than 200,000 people to pack up and move to this state since 2012, according to the island’s government. There are now more than 1 million Puerto Ricans in the 'Sunshine State,' the Pew Research Center reported late last year."
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