Attacks Continue to Fly in S. Florida Congressional Race
Around the State
Candidates are going on the attack in South Florida as one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation continues to take shape.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., looked to rally his supporters on Wednesday, urging them to contribute to his campaign. “If the tea party sees even a hint of weakness, we can expect 13 weeks of even more intense attacks,” Garcia emailed his backers on Wednesday.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) continues to help Garcia out, launching attacks against Miami-Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo, the favorite to win the Republican nomination in the Aug. 26 primary. This week, the DCCC jabbed Curbelo on education, looking to link him to Gov. Rick Scott.
“Just like the Rick Scott Republican that he is, Carlos Curbelo isn’t telling the truth about his record of slashing support for South Florida’s schools, teachers and children,” said David Bergstein, a spokesman for the DCCC, on Monday. “When Curbelo wasn’t serving as the cheerleader for Scott’s draconian cuts to Florida’s schools, Curbelo was supporting cuts to hundreds of education jobs himself – all while funneling millions of tax dollars to his corporate campaign contributors. It’s just more proof that Curbelo is exactly the type of Rick Scott-style politician who South Florida families can’t trust in Congress.”
But Curbelo showed no hesitation at punching away at Garcia on Wednesday, despite facing a Republican primary later this month.
“Voter fraud. That’s what Joe Garcia’s campaign was guilty of last election,” Curbelo noted on Wednesday. “He’s also the same guy who was caught saying ‘communism works.’ And on top of that, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and their super-PACs are spending millions of dollars to protect Joe Garcia.”
Curbelo looked to make political hay out of Garcia’s “communism works" gaffe he made back in May.
“We can’t have someone who thinks ‘communism works’ representing South Florida in Congress,” Curbelo insisted. “That’s why I’m running for our district – to preserve our freedom and democracy.”
Curbelo faces Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez and attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck in the Aug. 26 primary. Much of the Republican leadership -- former Gov. Jeb Bush, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.-- has endorsed Curbelo.
Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., who Garcia beat back in 2012, is on the ballot but he withdrew from the race to run for a Florida House seat in 2016.
Despite facing a criminal investigation over accusations of campaign finance violations and ending his congressional bid, the Miami Herald reported this week that Rivera has been running robocalls in the district, encouraging Republicans to vote for him in the primary.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.