Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo flipped a congressional seat over to the Republicans as he defeated U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., on Tuesday. Garcia conceded to Curbelo on Tuesday night.
With 97 percent of the vote in, Curbelo had 52 percent while Garcia had 48 percent. After two defeats running for Congress, Garcia beat U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., to claim the seat in 2012. Curbelo beat Rivera and other candidates back in August in the Republican primary.
In his campaign, Curbelo focused on the scandals that surrounded Garcia during his term in office, including having staff members do jail time for their role in voter fraud. Garcia hit Curbelo on Social Security and Medicare and the Republicans lobbying work. But the Democrat also made a number of missteps, including saying communism works in a Google Hangout and being caught digging in his ear and putting his finger in his mouth in a video that went viral.
For far too long, scandal has plagued this district and made it impossible to advance meaningful solutions in Congress to move our community, state and entire country forward, Cubrelo said on Tuesday night. With this election, South Florida is now turning the page on a sad history that has stood in the way of progress and making our voices heard in Washington.
I thank the people of Florida's 26th District for entrusting me with the honor and responsibility of being their voice in Congress, Curbelo added. Over the next two years, I pledge to work tirelessly and honestly to reform our government and advance policies that empower families and individuals across this district.
Despite the harsh tone of the campaign, Curbelo pledged to work with Garcia during the transition.
In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with Congressman Garcia to ensure that the transition between our offices is as seamless as possible, particularly as it relates to constituent casework already under way by his staff, Curbelo said.
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