Florida AG candidates draw contributions from Philip Levine, Jimmy Tate and others

Candidate Sean Shaw has vowed to look into whether Russians used Trump properties to launder money

Nov.November 02, 2018 05:45 PM

Sean Shaw and Ashley Moody

In the race to replace Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Democrat Sean Shaw and Republican Ashley Moody have scored contributions from real estate developers, investors and brokers.

Moody, who’s raised significantly more than Shaw, has drawn donations from industry executives across the state, including Walt Disney Company’s The Celebration Company, development companies tied to the Villages, and a handful of Tampa developers.

The Real Deal dug into the federal and state campaign finance databases to learn who South Florida’s most prominent figures in real estate are supporting, considering only contributions of $1,000 or more as of mid-October from figures known in the local industry to candidates for governor, senator and the House of Representatives. 

TRD’s list of donors and donations is not comprehensive and includes donations to political action committees and political party committees, which explains why some totals exceed the limits that individuals can contribute. Individuals are maxed out at $2,700 per election to a federal candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee. But they can also give up to $5,000 to a political action committee. In Florida, individuals are capped at $3,000 to a candidate for statewide office, according to the Division of Elections.

Attorney General

Sean Shaw


Lives in: Tampa

Net worth: $745,000

Campaign war chest: $2.59 million

Biggest Donors in Real Estate:

— Jill Soffer, $3,000

— Marsha Soffer, $3,000

— Spike Buckley, commercial real estate developer, $3,000

— JoAnn Nestor, vice president of Charles Rutenberg Realty, $3,000

— S.F.B. Development LLC, entity led by Chris Korge, $3,000

— Miles Forman, Fort Lauderdale developer, $3,000

— Miles Austin Forman, Fort Lauderdale developer, $3,000

— Lisa DeBartolo, executive vice president of DeBartolo Holdings, $1,500

— Philip Levine, developer and CEO of Royal Media Partners, $1,000

— Dev Motwani, president and CEO of Merrimac Ventures, $1,000

— 247 Miracle Mile LLC, a Terranova Corp. entity led by Stephen Bittel and Mindy McIlroy, $1,000

— Better Future LLC, a company led by Terranova’s Bittel and Scott Fitzgerald, $1,000

— Blue Sky Communities, a multifamily firm based in Tampa, $500

Real Estate Issues on the Campaign Trail:

At the Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach in September, Shaw vowed to look into whether Russians used Trump properties to launder money. Shaw compared his competition to “an extension of Pam Bondi” — a reference to the current attorney general’s decision to not investigate Trump University.

Ashley Moody


Lives in: Tampa

Net worth: $3 million

Campaign war chest: $5.18 million

Biggest Donors in Real Estate:

— Companies tied to Tampa developer Stephen Dibbs, $10,000

— Companies tied to Cargor Partners, a Bradenton homebuilder, $9,000

— The Celebration Company, $5,000

— Holding Co of The Villages Inc., $3,000

— Continental Pacific, a commercial real estate firm, $3,000

— Brent Sembler, vice chairman of the Sembler Company, $4,000

— Howard Group, $3,000

— James Terlizzi, CEO of Peachtree Settlement Funding, $3,000

— Third Lake Capital, $3,000

— Barrow Realty, $3,000

— The St. Joe Company of Watersound, Florida, $3,000

— Patrick Neal, founder of Neal Communities, $3,000

— Marta Batsmanian, Palm Beach commercial investor, $3,000

— Jimmy Tate’s Tate Development Corp., $3,000

— Jimmy Tate, president and owner of Tate Capital, $3,000

— Rayonier, timberland real estate investment trust, $3,000

— Louis Wolfson III, founding partner at Pinnacle Housing Group, $3,000

— Ron Bergeron, CEO of the Bergeron Family of Companies, $3,000

— Michael Belisle, office manager of Linda A. Gary Real Estate, $3,000

— Fred Cochran, managing partner of Insula Companies, $3,000

— John Rood, chairman The Vestcor Companies, $3,000

— Peter S. Rummell, independent director of Avalonbay Communities, $3,000

— Mel Sembler, founder of the Sembler Company Inc., $3,000

— Carl Lindell Jr., president and CEO of Lindell Investments Inc., $2,000

— Mel Sembler, founder of the Sembler Company, $2,000

— Murray H. Goodman, founder of Goodman Properties, $2,000

— Rodney Barreto’s Coral Gables Title and Escrow, $1,000

— Michael Adler, chairman and CEO of Adler Group, $1,000

— Richard A. Beard III, president and owner of R.A. Beard Co., $1,000

Real Estate Issues on the Campaign Trail:

Moody won the endorsements of the Florida Home Builders and the Florida Realtors PACs and the Associated Builders and Contractors of Florida. The construction trade group cited her “support of reducing barriers to increase innovation and promote job creation.” Moody also picked up Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s endorsement.

During a recent debate, Moody, who sued president Trump for alleged fraud over the Trump Tower Tampa project, has called him “a good role model for setting ambitious goals and getting things done,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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