May 20, 2020

Jim Mooney

Jim Mooney

KEY LARGO — Among the three Republicans competing for the Florida House of Representatives District 120 seat, incumbent Rep. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, is endorsing Islamorada councilman Jim Mooney.

Raschein, who is term-limited after serving her fourth term, worked alongside Mooney, who served as mayor of Islamorada in 2017 during Hurricane Irma.

“I offer you my whole-hearted endorsement of Jim Mooney to serve as our next state Representative,” Raschein said in a press release. “With Jim’s leadership in Tallahassee, we will emerge from this current crisis a stronger and more resilient community.”

Mooney is a life-long resident of the Florida Keys, owns a small business and has served on the Islamorada Village Council for 10 years.

“Holly’s endorsement was a matter of timing, but this coronavirus has thrown everything into a tailspin,” Mooney said of his endorsement. “I’m not a politician, I’m just a guy that cares. And at the end of day, that’s all that matters. I’m a fifth generation Floridian.”

Mooney said he’d continue to fight for Florida Bay restoration, nearshore water quality, storm runoff, affordable housing and fair insurance rates.

“At the end of the day, my primary focus hasn’t changed, but the lack of sales tax revenue coming into the county has significantly changed things and we have to make sure the state doesn’t move funds around too much. I am not much for one to drop money into general funds,” Mooney said.

“Everglades funding is our bread and butter. We need to continue to press hard to get that fixed and we need to say focused and on point. Our rookeries and fisheries are at stake. … Water quality is of course at the top of the list and now that we’ve spent $1 billion on installing the central sewer system, canal restoration and storm runoff are our next priorities. We need to find funding for this. You can’t stop one source of pollution without attacking another.”

Mooney said since Monroe County has been at the forefront of storm and flood mitigation, he’ll fight for fair flood insurance rates for the region.

After spending about $5,400 campaigning, Mooney is left with about $81,000 in his coffers. He faces fellow Republicans Rhonda Rebman Lopez and Alexandria Suarez in the Aug. 18 primary election.

Financially Lopez beats out her competitors with approximately $184,000 in her war chest after spending nearly $24,000 on campaigning. Lopez also has taken $35,000 in loans.

Alexandria Suarez has about $44,000 remaining in her coffers after spending about $4,000.

Clint Barras, the sole Democrat running, has $15,000 in the bank after spending about $3,000 to promote himself.

Republicans maintained their majority in the Florida House of Representatives in the 2018 elections, winning 73 seats to Democrats’ 47 and maintaining footholds in the state Senate and the governor’s office.

Florida state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.

The outcomes of the 2020 election cycle in Florida stand to influence the state’s redistricting process following the 2020 census.

tjava@keysnews.com