Miami-Dade’s Danielle Cohen Higgins rakes in PAC funds on non election year

There are seven incumbent Miami-Dade Commissioners on the ballot this year. But Danielle Cohen Higgins of District 8 is not one of them.

That doesn’t mean, however, that she’s not busy bringing home the bacon anyway.

Read related: Miami-Dade Mayor, Commissioners raise $1.7 mil plus in three months

Cohen Higgins raised $267,000 for her political action committee, Fight for Our Future in the first quarter of this year, according to her campaign finance report. It’s the first time she’s raised any PAC funds since 2022. The largest contributors are:

  • Developer Jorge Perez, of The Related Company, with $20,000
  • Developers Biscayne Holdings, known as developer of “Florida’s Luxury homes” with $20,000
  • Developer Lewis Swezy with $20,000
  • Investor Leonard Abess with $25,000
  • Versailles owner Felipe Valls with $10,000
  • Engage Live event planners with $10,000
  • Cutler Bay developer David Portal with $10,000
  • Laura Munilla of Munilla Construction with $5,000

The Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach also gave $25,000 on March 20, which is curious. Especially since Cohen Higgins posted a photo from the grand opening of the Fontainebleau in Las Vegas in December, which she apparently missed a meeting for.

‘With many Miami-based restaurants/entertainment venues included and after 15 years of construction, yesterday was the Grand Opening of the beautiful new Fontainebleau Las Vegas,” she wrote in her social media post. “Congratulations to all involved and especially to the Miami based Fontainebleau Development team!”

Maybe the $25K was a thank you?

Cohen Higgins is not up for election until 2026, but she could be trying to buy her way into the next chairmanship of the commission, which could change after the November election. That’s what las malas lenguas say.

Read related: Palmetto Bay fights residents over county parcel Village wants for park

She’s had a series of victories on the dais lately, winning a denial of a zoning change for an ALF proposed in Killian that residents had fought hard and getting a delay on the proposed purchase of the La Quinta Inn on U.S. 1 to serve as a transitional housing facility for homeless seniors. The commission voted to move forward on the negotiations, but Cohen Higgins has to bring it back and has made it very clear that she has no intention to (more on that later).

She also took on her hometown Village of Palmetto Bay last month by siding with residents opposed to the sale of a surplus piece of county land currently used as an FP&L easement for the municipality to turn into a passive park. Neighboring homeowners want to buy the property and divvy it up among themselves instead. Commissioners told the village to negotiate a compromise with the residents.

The Jamaican-American, who was first appointed in 2021 to fill the vacant seat left by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and then was elected to her first term in 2022, could also be building her treasure trove to build her countywide profile for a mayoral run, which many say she is bound to make either in 2028 or as soon as La Alcaldesa makes her move, which could be as early as 2026.