The third report is a huge boom for Vilariño's candidacy and signifies the depth and breadth of her campaign. It also proves that Irina’s long-time community relationships developed from her involvement in her family’s restaurant business position her as the top-tier candidate to take back Congressional District 26 for Republicans.
Vilariño's campaign coffer has been boosted by some big names in Florida's political scene. Her key financial supporters include former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart and long-time Republican fundraising donors Jimmy Resnick, Marielena Villamil, Marili Cancio, Larry DeGeorge, James Tate and Rachel Sapoznik.
Meanwhile, Vilariño's lone primary opponent, Omar Blanco, has a lot of catching up to do on the fundraising trail. The Miami-Dade Fire Union Chief has only raised a little over $100,000 since joining the race in August. Blanco currently has only $91,000 cash on hand.
The winner will take on Democratic incumbent Debbie Murcasel-Powell.
Vilariño arrived in Florida from Cuba with her family as part of the Mariel boatlift in 1980 when she was a small child. Since then, she has built a successful career working to expand her family’s restaurant business, which includes 15 restaurants across South Florida and more than 400 employees. She now serves as the co-owner of Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine restaurants.
Although this is her first time running for office, Vilariño is no stranger to Florida's political scene.
She was a frequent presence during the 2018 elections with Republican candidates, including Sen. Rick Scott. She has also been a contributor to FOX News and appeared on CNN to defend Justice Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation. To top it all off, she appeared beside President Donald Trump at a small business roundtable last year in Hialeah to promote the Republican tax cuts.
The South Florida conservative is running on a platform that includes pro-growth policies to help working families, lower taxes and fewer regulations, bolster a strong national defense and the protection of life. She is also a strong advocate for the protection of constitutional rights, foremost being the right to life.