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Big-Name Politicians Take Sides in Joe Garcia-Carlos Curbelo Showdown

March 25, 2014 - 7:00pm

Leading politicians at the state and national level are getting involved in a South Florida congressional race which is increasingly appearing to be one of the most competitive contests of the 2014 election cycle.

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., and his leading Republican challenger, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, brought out the big guns this week as they ready for the campaign.

Garcia called on U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., to go to bat for him on Wednesday. Nelson emailed supporters and praised Garcia in fulsome terms.

In just his first year in Congress, my friend, Congressman Joe Garcia, has shown he's a tireless advocate for the communities he represents, and he's ready to tackle the big issues to help South Florida's families, Nelson insisted before adding Garcia is being targeted by the tea party and its supporters who are ready to spend millions to try to increase their numbers in Congress.

Joe's leadership on issues important to Florida has been impressive, Nelson continued. He made sure that families and communities across our state weren't hit with astronomical flood insurance rate increases that would have derailed our economy.

But Curbelo has been raising his stature with national Republicans. Fresh from his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this month, earlier this week, when former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., came to South Florida, Curbelo met with the former Republican presidential candidate.

Ceci and I got to spend some time with Gov. Romney last night, Curbelo informed supporters on Tuesday. He remains full of love and passion for our great nation.

Earlier this month, Curbelo met with newly elected U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., and former Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed the congressional hopeful at the end of last month.

I am pleased to endorse Carlos Curbelo for Congress, Bush said when he backed Curbelo. He is a proven education reformer and a strong proponent of expanding economic freedom and cutting wasteful spending. Carlos will bring a servants heart to Washington to represent Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. I look forward to supporting Carlos campaign this year as he articulates his bold vision for the future of our nation.

Curbelo battles Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck and Jose Peixoto in the Republican primary.

Reach Kevin Derby at

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