Politics

Luis Garcia Enters Race Against David Rivera

Veteran Miami Beach Dem does not live in the district as it's currently shaped
By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 21, 2011 7:44 AM
Luis R. Garcia

Rep. Luis Garcia | Credit: Mark Foley, myfloridahousegov.com

State Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami, announced Wednesday that he will enter the race to run against freshman Republican Congressman David Rivera, who represents parts of South Florida.

“I am excited and honored to launch our campaign to represent the people of Congressional District 25 in Washington, D.C.,” said Garcia. “Today’s challenges are too great to sit on the sidelines and the need for meaningful, common-sense solutions is why I am proudly running for Congress.”

First elected to serve in Tallahassee in 2006, Garcia, who fled Cuba at an early age, barely held on to his state House seat in 2010, which represents parts of Miami-Dade County. While he faced a close race in 2010, Garcia is well-established in the community, having served as Miami Beach fire chief and spent more than 50 years in the area. He also served for seven years on the Miami Beach City Commission.

In his announcement Wednesday, Garcia touched on some of the themes of his campaign.

“Our seniors deserve to have a representative who will fight to preserve Social Security and Medicare," said Garcia. “Our children should have a congressman who will be on their side, charting a course that delivers a stronger foundation for our education system. And our families must have a leader who will every day advance and support economic measures that will grow small businesses and put us back on a path to grow jobs for our community."

Added Garcia, “These are extraordinary times, both in our country and across the world, and we need leadership that will bring new levels of honesty, integrity and vision to the United States Congress. My more than 25 years of service as a firefighter were guided by a promise of keeping the public safe and protecting our community. As your congressman, I intend to take that same promise to the United States Congress.”

Garcia may not have an open shot at Rivera, who has been hurt by investigations into his finances. Buzz continues to grow that Annette Taddeo, a businesswoman who ran for Congress in 2008 and for the Miami-Dade County Commission in 2010, may also enter the race as a Democrat.

Garcia does not live in the current district -- it will change in 2012 after redistricting -- which contains parts of Miami-Dade, Collier and Monroe counties. Federal law allows out-of-district residents to run for Congress.

The Rivera camp responded to the new candidate by linking him to both President Barack Obama and Democratic U.S. House Leader Nancy Pelosi, specifically arguing that Garcia backed the economic policies of Washington Democrats.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.


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