S. Florida Congressional Race Aided by National Party Leaders

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: August 30, 2014 3:55 AM
Carlos Curbelo, Greg Walden, Joe Garcia

Carlos Curbelo, Greg Walden, Joe Garcia

The big guns are starting to come out in South Florida as congressional candidates in a tight race relied on national figures to help them raise funds before the end of August. 

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., and Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who won the Republican primary to challenge the freshman congressman earlier this week, are gearing up for what is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional contests in the nation. On Friday, both campaigns turned to leading members of Congress to give them a fundraising boost. Both campaigns also looked to tie their opponents to their party’s leader in the U.S. House.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC),  sent out a fundraising email on Curbelo’s behalf, attempting to link Garcia with U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Walden warned Republicans that Democrats planned to support Garcia with their checkbooks and called for Republicans to open their wallets for Curbelo.
“He’s our candidate to beat Joe Garcia and Nancy Pelosi, but the Democrats have already reserved more than $2 million in advertising against him,” Walden wrote. “His real race has just started.”

Like most political observers, Walden predicted the congressional race would be close come November.
“Carlos knows what it takes to lead and will fight for the best for South Florida -- but he’s in a tight race,” Walden wrote.

But Garcia got help of his own on Friday from a leading Democrat at the national and state levels: U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Wasserman Schultz sent out a fundraising email on Garcia’s behalf in which she tried to link Curbelo to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

“It may be difficult to hear this, but here’s the honest truth,” Wasserman Schultz wrote on Garcia’s behalf. “Speaker Boehner has made it his mission … his priority to defeat Joe Garcia.”

Like Walden, Wasserman Schultz predicted a close contest in November.

“Joe Garcia is fighting in one of the toughest races in the entire country and it’s imperative that we’ve got his back,” Wasserman Schultz insisted. “Joe Garcia’s re-election is critical to our fight against Boehner’s right-wing agenda.”

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

Comments (1)

Jim Otto
8:44AM SEP 2ND 2014
As much as I respect Walden, I get sick and tired out of these out-of-area politicians sticking their necks in our backyard. Did he really look into Curbelo's background? What about Curbelo's support of Common Core. Go to West Kendall and you will find a hard time trying to find people who support it, and a lot of those are independents who got fed up with the parties a few years ago.

Curbelo is one of the weakest candidates in terms of credentials that the Republicans have put forward in many years down here and they swung their endorsements and $$$ behind the wrong person. The guy has not even finished his full term on the school board and that's really he all he brings to the table apart from political lobbying. Were you that blind Walden?

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