Jimenez challenges Garcia in Miami-Dade County Commission race

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, April 2, 2020

Former Florida Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, is seeking a spot on the Miami-Dade County
Commission in 2020, and the veteran office holder has drawn an opponent.
Political newcomer Adrian Jesus Jimenez filed paperwork in February to run for the District 13 seat.
The district includes Miami Lakes, Palm Springs North and
Hialeah, and is currently represented by
Commissioner Esteban Bovo, Jr.
Bovo is facing term limits and is running for mayor of Miami-Dade County.
Jimenez, 24, also of Hialeah and a Republican, is considered the underdog in the nonpartisan race.
Garcia, 45, has been politically active for two decades. He launched his current campaign in 2017 and is endorsed by Bovo.
Garcia has raised $1 million in campaign contributions as of March 16, according to the Florida Department of Elections and Miami-Dade County Elections.
About $900,120 came from his PAC, People for Accountable Government.
Jimenez reported $100 in campaign contributions, which he loaned to himself.
Some of Garcia’s contributors have ties to Miami Lakes: Former Miami Lakes councilmembers Frank Mingo, who gave $250 and Nelson Hernandez gave $150.
Hazel Alvarez donated $100, records show. She is married to current town Councilman Carlos A. Alvarez.
The Miami law firm Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin & Tapanes, which represents residential and commercial developers, contributed $1,000 to
Garcia’s campaign.
Born in Hialeah, Garcia began his public service career in 1997 when he was elected to the Hialeah City Council, according to his biography.
He ran unopposed and served another two-year term.
In 2000, Garcia successfully won a seat in the Florida House of
Representatives and was reelected to three consecutive terms.
He was term-limited in 2008, and then served in the Florida Senate from 2010-2018.
He served on the Agriculture, Banking and Insurance and Health Policy committees.
Garcia was not available for comment and his campaign would only say that he works in the health care field.
Garcia earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida International University and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Miami.
Jimenez, a case manager for the Morgan & Morgan law firm in Miami, said he grew up in Hialeah and frequently shops and dines along Main Street in
Miami Lakes.
He said his friends encouraged him to run for political office because he’s familiar with District 13 issues.
“The community wants someone who is going to fight to reduce traffic and not settle for projects that might have no effect in District 13,” he said.
Protecting the environment, bringing more businesses to District 13 and enhancing education are issues Jimenez said he wants to champion if he’s elected.
Jimenez said he attended Miami Dade College and is a certified free diver. He is also a licensed
insurance adjuster.
The primary election is scheduled for August 18.

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