THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
QUALIFYING WEEK - PART DEUX - COUNTY COURT .....
In County Court, 13 Incumbents have already filed in their Groups. Judge Edward Newman, in Group 7, is retiring. One attorney, Marcus Bach Armas, has filed to run in that Group. He has yet to draw an opponent, and Mr. Bach Armas is doing everything he can to dissuade anyone from filing against him as he has already raised $136,154 and loaned his campaign another $21,000.
Three Incumbent County Court Judges have opponents. Judge Fred Seraphin, Judge Jeffrey Kolokoff, and Judge Scott Janowitz.
Here is your current line-up for the County Court judicial races.
Group 03 Ayana Harris (I)
Fred Seraphin (I)
He has a net worth of $306,179
He has raised $100 from one contributor
He has loaned his campaign $7,166
He is paid $156,377 as a County Court Judge
He was appointed to the bench in 2001 by Gov. Bush. He ran unopposed in 2004 and unopposed again in 2010. In 2016, Milena Abreu ran against him. Seraphin won 50.16% to 49.84%; (he won by 677 votes out of 210,919 cast).
When I first reported on this election back in January, Seraphin was the only Incumbent who had not yet filed for re-election. He is now in catch-up mode as an opponent filed against him on Monday.
Renier Diaz de la Portilla
He has been a member of The Florida Bar for 14 years.
He runs his own law practice concentrating primarily on criminal defense. He is also a mediator.
He has been a candidate in numerous elections over the course of his lifetime.
He was elected to the Miami-Dade School Board in 1996 at the age of 25 and he served two years.
He was elected in 2000 at age 29 to the Florida House in District 115 in a special election and he served two years. He ran for re-election in 2002 and lost to JC Planas in the primary, 45-43%.
He returned to the School Board from 2006-2012 winning a couple more elections.
In 2012 he ran in House District 103 and lost to Manny Diaz Jr 55-39%.
In 2014 he ran for Circuit Court Judge against Veronica Diaz and he lost 57-43%.
In 2020, he ran for a seat on the Miami-Dade County Commission, District 5, against Eileen Higgins and he lost 53-47%.
If I forgot to mention any of his elections, I am sure Renier can update me in the Comments section.
Group 07 OPEN SEAT - JUDGE NEWMAN RETIRING
Marcus R. Bach Armas
He has a net worth of $3,673,240 (plus great Dolphins seats).
He has raised $136,154 from a total of 217 contributors.
He has loaned his campaign a total of $21,000
He has been a member of The Florida Bar for 13 years. One year at Holland & Knight, one year as a Law Clerk to Fed Judge Gold, and for the past 11 years he has been with the Miami Dolphins now serving as their Senior Director of Legal & Gov’t Affairs.
I believe he is the son of former County Court Judge Mercedes Bach (1995-2008).
Group 08 Carlos H. Gamez (I)
Group 11 Michaelle Gonzalez-Paulson (I)
Group 13 Elisabeth Espinosa (I)
Group 15 Linda Melendez (I)
Jeffrey M. Kolokoff (I)
He has a net worth of $2,182,366.
He has raised $40,225 from a total of 74 contributors.
He has loaned his campaign a total of $325,000
He has been a member of The Florida Bar for 15 years. He was appointed to the bench by Gov. DeSantis in April of 2020 and this is his first election. Prior to taking the bench he was an ASA and then worked for the law firm of Beighley, Myrick.
Judge Kolokoff is clearly trying to scare his opponent into another race. Up until March, he had held zero fundraisers and had raised only $13,325. He finally held his first fundraiser just over a month ago and 50 contributors donated a total of $26,900. On March 30th, Kolokoff loaned his campaign $250,000.
Lissette De La Rosa
She has a net worth of $543,576.
She has raised $56,135 from a total of 81 contributors.
She has NOT loaned her campaign any money.
She has been a member of The Florida Bar for 20 years. Hard to find out much about her law practice. She appears to have previously worked in the area of Estates and Trusts in the Tampa area. She is currently employed by a Clearwater property insurance company, Heritage Property & Casualty, in their Sunrise office.
Group 23 Carroll Kelly (I)
Group 27 Miesha Shonta Darrough (I)
Group 28 Cristina Rivera Correa (I)
Group 35 Chiaka Ihekwaba (I)
Group 39 Julie Harris Nelson (I)
Scott Janowitz (I)
He has a net worth of $425,000.
He has raised $18,750 from a total of 36 contributors.
He has loaned his campaign a total of $1,000
He has been a member of The Florida Bar for 16 years. He was appointed to the bench by Gov. DeSantis in April of 2020 and this is his first election. Prior to taking the bench he was an ASA in Broward and then worked for the law firm of Geyer, Fuxa.
Up until two weeks ago, Janowitz hadn’t even held a fundraiser. He had only raised $2,800 from 6 contributors. He is way, way behind his opponent in fundraising.
Alicia Garcia Priovolos
She has a net worth of $1,816,344.
She has raised $61,865 from a total of 135 contributors.
She has loaned her campaign $50,000.
She has been a member of The Florida Bar for 16 years, all of that time as an ASA in Miami-Dade County. She is married to former ASA and current criminal defense attorney John Priovolos.
You don't want to miss our column on Wednesday - we promise, you won't be disappointed.