Busy fundraising week for Republican state candidates

It’s going to be a busy week for Republican checkbooks.

We’ve got at least four fundraisers planned election2016this week, two for Tuesday and two for Wednesday, for GOP candidates in state House and Senate races.

First up is former Congressman David Rivera. We already told you he’s back, running now for the seat abandoned by State Rep. Frank Artiles, who is running for Senate. His fundraiser kick-off is Tuesday at Cuban Crafters on NW 7th Street and it is the most mysterious. No telling who might show up — since there’s nobody on the host committee.

The same night, Artiles is having his own fundraiser in Tallahassee hosted by some of his colleagues artilesriveraand would-be colleagues in the legislature and only two state reps (Jose Oliva and Jose Felix “Pepe” Diaz. Los dos pepes) from the 305, because Artiles is not liked that much. The others are from elsewhere, albeit heavy hitters from leadership — including President-designate Joe Negron, Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano and Speaker Designate Richard Corcoran — perhaps indicating that the GOP is seriously trying to take the blue seat from Sen. Dwight Bullard.

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Or maybe everybody else is getting their hair done and their shoes shined for Wednesday. That’s when, between them, Sen. Anitere Flores and State Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., have all the serial political event hosts in town at their soirees, respectively, in Coral Gables and Hialeah.

Let’s ignore that it’s strange for these two — both of whom work in the charter school industry floresdiazand who arguably draw from the same pool of donors — to have their fundraisers on the very same day at the very same time. Maybe Flores will go to Hialeah next week and Diaz will come to Coral Gables. Cuidado!

The invites are engaging simply because of the large list of inviters — especially with Flores, who is apparently not taking the challenge from Democrat trust fund baby Andrew Korge lightly.

Flores’ event has nine special guests/speakers, 14 event chairpeople, and 25 names so far on the host committee that is “still in formation.” Still in formation?!? When is the elevator at capacity?

Among the special guests is the entire Cuban Congressional GOP caucus (Carlos Curbelo, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) and five of the 13 county commissioners — Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Rebeca Sosa, Javier Souto, Xavier Suarez and Juan Zapata — as well as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Read related story: Senate 39’s Andrew Korge vs Anitere Flores gets ugly fast

Chairs include lobbyists Ron Book, Al Cardenas and Manny Kadre, builders Sergio Pino and Pedro pacmoneyMunilla, automobile mogul Norman Braman and Miami-Dade Republican Party Chairman Nelson Diaz. Hosts include more Jeb Bush, Jr., container queen Remedios Diaz Oliver and a slew of more second tier lobbyists like Jose “El Chino” Fuentes, Luis Andre Gazitua, Bob Levy and Ralph Garcia-Toledo, who is now playing with the big boys thanks to his tour of duty as driver for then Commissioner Gimenez. (Tell your kids: Forget college! Drive a politician around and you’ll get rich!)

All 48 of them invite us to Bulla Gastrobar on Ponce de Leon Boulevard at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Half an hour later, though, we are invited to another fundraiser for Diaz Jr. at Hialeah Park, which you know is impossible in Miami-Dade traffic. Our hosts here include Sen. Rene Garcia, State Reps. Jose Oliva and Bryan Avila, former State Rep. Eddy Gonzalez (who is the RSVP on the invite) and Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban Bovo, all of whom kind of do stuff in lock step. They also include Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and Hialeah Gardens Mayor Yioset de la Cruz as well as the full council of both cities.

We don’t have to wait long to see who wins the prize for best fundraiser. Checks written Tuesday and Wednesday will appear on the March campaign reports, which are due and become public April 10th or 11th.

My money is on the Gables soiree for Flores — if simply because of the numbers.

Game on, people! Warm up those wrists!