As the presidential election nears, The Real Deal examined top South Florida real estate players’ political donations this year, and found they largely skewed in one direction.
A number of developers supported Republican candidates and causes, including Craig Robins, Stuart Miller and Russell Galbut.
Related Group developer Jorge Pérez and real estate adviser Louise Sunshine were among the few to donate to former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, according to TRD’s analysis of filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Here is a look at some of the political donations real estate developers and brokers made in 2020:
The Miami Design District developer has written checks totaling $25,000 this year. Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, gave $12,500 to the Gimenez Victory Committee, $5,600 to Carlos Gimenez for Congress, $5,000 to the Residents First PAC, and $1,900 to the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County. Gimenez is the Republican candidate running for Congress against Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
Robins has spearheaded the development of the Design District into a high-end retail-driven neighborhood north of Midtown Miami. He did not respond to a request for comment.
Lennar Corp.’s Stuart Miller donated $13,600 to two local races. Miller, executive chairman of Lennar, gave $8,000 to Beth Van Duyne’s campaign, and $5,600 to Gimenez’s campaign. Van Duyne is a Republican running for the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Texas’ 24th congressional district. Van Duyne is running against Democrat Candace Valenzuela.
Crescent Heights developer Russell Galbut made contributions to races around the country. In South Florida, Galbut wrote a $2,700 check to Salazar for Congress. Republican Maria Elvira Salazar is running against Donna Shalana to represent Florida’s 27th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Galbut, whose Miami-based Crescent Heights has built major projects in South Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, also gave $2,200 to Antone for Congress, who lost to Rep. Ilhan Omar; $1,00 each to Jim Risch for U.S. Senate Committee and McSally for Senate Inc.; and $500 to Engel for Congress. He declined to comment on the donations. Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona is up for re-election in November.
Miami Worldcenter co-developer Art Falcone supported Anna Paulina Luna’s campaign for Congress, as well as WinRed, the Republican Party’s fundraising platform, giving each $2,800. Luna is running against Rep. Charlie Crist to represent Florida’s 13th district, covering southern Pinellas County.
Falcone leads the Falcone Group, a Boca Raton-based real estate firm that has developed mixed-use, residential and entertainment projects around the country. Falcone is a co-developer of Miami Worldcenter along with Nitin Motwani.
Outspoken Democrat and supporter of the arts Jorge Pérez donated $2,800 to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. The Related Group founder and prolific developer has been vocal about how he disagrees with President Trump’s policies.
Aventura developer Donald Soffer gave about $2,000 to Republican campaigns largely supporting President Trump’s reelection. Soffer donated $1,000 to Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee, $750 to his campaign, and $250 to the Republican National Committee.
The billionaire mega developer, whose children are also involved in real estate, founded Turnberry Associates, which is now led by his daugher, Jackie Soffer.
Javier Cervera Jr., the owner of Cervera Real Estate Ventures, donated $2,500 to Donald J. Trump for President. Javier is the son of Alicia Sr. and the late Javier Sr. His company owns commercial properties in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and is building two apartment buildings in the Allapattah neighborhood.
Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner and principal of Cervera Real Estate, wrote a check for $250 to the Republican National Committee.
Sales, marketing and development expert Louise Sunshine, who famously served as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization from 1973 to 1985, gave $500 to Biden’s campaign.
The Sunshine Group founder, who sold her company in 2002 to New Jersey-based NRT, is an adviser for Fort Partners, developer of the Four Seasons-branded projects in Surfside and Fort Lauderdale.
Florida East Coast Realty developer Tibor Hollo gave nearly $6,000, with the majority ($5,600) to Gimenez’s campaign for Congress. Hollo also donated $250 to McSally for Senate, and $113 to Trump’s campaign.
Hollo, a Holocaust survivor, founded Florida East Coast Realty, which has developed a number of projects in Miami, including Panorama Tower, the tallest building in Florida.
W. Allen Morris
Coral Gables developer W. Allen Morris gave $750 to Trump’s campaign. Morris, chairman and CEO of the Allen Morris Company, has projects throughout Florida and Georgia. He declined to comment.