The Real Deal Miami

Which presidential hopefuls do South Florida developers support?

Since mid-July, a handful of developers have donated to Republican candidates

March 14, 2016 06:30PM
By Katherine Kallergis and Sean Stewart-Muniz

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From left: Jackie Soffer, Jeff Soffer, Craig Robins and Armando Codina

From left: Jackie Soffer, Jeff Soffer, Craig Robins and Armando Codina

While this presidential race has seen candidates on a tear to open donors’ checkbooks, it seems South Florida’s biggest developers are mostly keeping theirs closed.

Republican hopeful Marco Rubio has raked in the most donors among bigwigs in the real estate industry, although that amounts to less than $14,000, according to a review of Federal Election Commission filings by The Real Deal. We looked at donations to presidential candidates following the mid-July deadline. 

The Soffer family was among the most liberal with their checkbooks. Jackie Soffer and her father Don Soffer each donated $5,400 to Rubio’s campaign in January. Jeffrey Soffer also gave $2,800 to Rubio that same month. The Soffers, known for pioneering the development of Aventura, own the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a majority interest of Aventura Mall, and are developing SoLē Mia in North Miami.

Meanwhile, Jackie Soffer’s husband Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, donated $2,700 to Jeb Bush’s campaign back in August. Robins has spearheaded the development of Miami’s Design District. Bush dropped out of the race in February.

Robins wasn’t alone: Armando Codina also made a $2,700 donation to Bush’s campaign. Along with his daughter, Ana Codina-Barlick, Codina is among the driving forces behind Doral’s transformation. Codina Partners is developing Downtown Doral, a $1 billion mixed-use project.

Though this list is by no means all-inclusive, the political views of South Florida’s top developers appear to lean to the right, with developers funding primarily Republican candidates. Of those listed above, Rubio’s campaign pocketed $13,600, while Bush received $5,400.