Florida's 26th Congressional District elections, 2014

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2012

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Florida's 26th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 26, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Joe Garcia Democratic Party
Joe Garcia.jpg

Florida U.S. House Elections
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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

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The 26th Congressional District of Florida will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.
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Incumbent Joe Garcia (D), first elected in 2012, is target for Republicans in 2014. The third time proved to be the charm for Joe Garcia, as he ran against and lost to Mario Diaz Balart by six percent in 2008, ran again in 2010 but was defeated by David Rivera by almost ten percent, before he finally managed to be elected to the office in 2012.[1]

Almost as soon as Garcia was sworn in, Republicans started lining up to challenge the freshman Democrat. While the district is starting to become more Democratic, Republicans still hold a registration advantage in the district.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

Scandal-plagued former Rep. David Rivera, who defeated Garcia in 2010 before being ousted by him in 2012, is looking to make a political comeback despite continued investigations in a complicated campaign-financing scheme.[2][3][4]

Rivera’s re-emergence did not sit well with the other Republicans already looking to defeat Garcia. Miami Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who had been the GOP front-runner, brought up Rivera's ongoing investigations.[2] Curbelo is the Republican establishment favorite in the race and earned the endorsement of former Gov. Jeb Bush.[3] Curbelo and Rivera previously went to head to head in 2008 for Miami-Dade Republican chairman when Rivera, then a state Representative, won the post by just 1 vote.[3]

Rivera and Sen. Marco Rubio are reportedly friends, though the two have not been as close as in past years amid Rivera's political and legal investigations.[5] The two still jointly own a rental home, but associates say Rubio would like to sell it and that he does not support Rivera's run for Congress against Curbelo.[3]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
May 2, 2014
August 26, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Florida is one of 12 states to use a strictly closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[6][7][8]

Voter registration: To vote in the primary, voters had to register by June 28, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline is October 6, 2014.[9]

See also: Florida elections, 2014

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is Joe Garcia (D), who was first elected in 2012.

Florida's 26th Congressional District is a new district that was created as a result of the 2010 Census.[10] The new district includes portions of Monroe and Miami-Dade counties in the southern tip of Florida, including the Florida Keys.[11]

Candidates

Failed to file


Race background

Incumbent Joe Garcia (D) is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[17]

The third time proved to be the charm for Joe Garcia, as he ran against Mario Diaz Balart in 2008 but lost by six percent, ran again in 2010 but lost to David Rivera by almost ten percent and finally managed to be elected to the office in 2012.[1]

Almost as soon as Garcia was sworn in, Republicans started lining up to challenge the freshman Democrat. While the district is starting to become more Democratic, Republicans still hold a registration advantage in the district.Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name

Scandal-plagued former Rep. David Rivera, who defeated Garcia in 2010 before being ousted by him in 2012, is looking to make a political comeback despite facing continued investigations.[2]

Rivera’s re-emergence did not sit well with the other Republicans already looking to defeat Garcia. Miami Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who had been the GOP front-runner, brought up Rivera's ongoing investigations.[2] Curbelo is the Republican establishment favorite in the race and earned the endorsement of former Gov. Jeb Bush.[18] Curbelo and Rivera previously went to head to head in 2008 for Miami-Dade Republican chairman when Rivera, then a state Representative, won the post by just 1 vote.[3]

Rivera and Sen. Marco Rubio are reportedly friends, though the two have not been as close as in past years amid Rivera's political and legal investigations.[5] The two still jointly own a rental home, but associates of the two say Rubio would like to sell it and that he does not think it is a good idea for Rivera to run for Congress against Curbelo.[3]

Former Miami-Dade County Commission Chair Joe Martinez, who ran for Miami-Dade mayor in 2012, Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, a businessman who served in Vietnam and as a police officer and attorney Lorenzo Palomares Starbuck are also running in the primary.[1][2]

State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who defeated fellow state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan in a tough Republican primary between two incumbents in 2012, initially signaled that he intended to run but failed to file prior to the filing deadline.[1] While many of the Republicans initially rumored as potential candidates eventually passed on the race, the fact that so many names were kicked around shows that this district presents an opportunity for Republicans to possibly pick up a congressional seat.[1]

The National Republican Congressional Committee added Carlos Curbelo to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that make this list receive "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[19] In March 2014, Curbelo was included on the NRCC's "Young Guns" list.[20]


Endorsements

Carlos Curbelo

  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart endorsed Carlos Curbelo on May 13, 2014.[21]
    • Diaz-Balart stressed Curbelo’s “strong sense of integrity” and “commitment to government transparency,” a subtle contrast to Garcia and Rivera who have been scandal-plagued in recent years.[21]
    • "Carlos' dedication to public service is something I truly admire. I have always known him to be respectful and have a strong sense of integrity. His time serving on the Miami Dade County School Board has proven his effective leadership and commitment to government transparency and fiscal responsibility, both of which Florida's residents deserve. I proudly stand with Carlos in his candidacy for the 26th Congressional District,” Diaz-Balart said.[21]

Issues

Communism

In a Google Hangout about immigration and crime along the U.S.-Mexico border on May 27, 2014, Garcia remarked positively about Communism when he noted that El Paso, TX, known as being one of the country’s safest cities, is directly across from Juarez, Mexico, one of the most dangerous in the hemisphere.[22]

“It happens to be across the border from the most dangerous city in the Americas, which is Juarez, right? And two of the safest cities in America, two of them are on the border with Mexico. And of course, the reason is we’ve proved that Communism works...If you give everybody a good, government job, there’s no crime," Garcia said.[22]

Venezuela

Incumbent Joe Garcia sent a letter to President Obama on February 24, 2014, requesting that he grant more political asylum applications from Venezuela and to stop deporting people there.[23][24]

Garcia argued that Venezuelans who have lived in the U.S. may be targeted if they return home, after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed some of the clashes between his government forces and opposition demonstrators on the U.S. and other countries.[24]

Media

LIBRE Initiative


The LIBRE Initiative's June 2014 ad against Joe Garcia.

The conservative Hispanic group, The LIBRE Initiative, launched a three-week Spanish-language ad campaign against Joe Garcia, after his remark that "communism works."[25]

Key votes

Below are important votes the current incumbent cast during the 113th Congress.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[26] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[27] Joe Garcia voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[28]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[29] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Joe Garcia voted for HR 2775.[30]

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season.

Joe Garcia

Joe Garcia (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[31]June 10, 2013$46,214.21$548,226.84$(92,931.30)$501,509.75
July Quarterly[32]July 15, 2013$501,509.75$442,334.14$(142,477.45)$801,366.44
October Quarterly[33]October 13, 2013$801,366.44$410,250.32$(173,220.70)$1,038,396.06
Year-end[34]January 31, 2014$1,038,396$412,521$(109,178)$1,341,739
April Quarterly[35]April 15, 2014$1,341,739$463,083$(155,173)$1,649,649
Running totals
$2,276,415.3$(672,980.45)

Incumbent Joe Garcia’s team announced on July 9, 2013, that he raised about $440,000 in the previous three months and had about $800,000 cash on hand.[36]

David Rivera

David Rivera (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[37]April 10, 2013$0$0$(939)$3,238
July Quarterly[38]July 11, 2013$3,238$0$(2,617)$620
October Quarterly[39]October 7, 2013$620$0$(113)$507
Year End[40]January 17, 2014$507$0$(0)$507
April Quarterly[41]April 9, 2014$507$0$(0)$507
Running totals
$0$(3,669)

Ed MacDougall

Ed MacDougall (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[42]June 27, 2013$0.00$40,400.00$(11,006.00)$29,394.00
July Quarterly[43]July 15, 2013$30,394.00$19,400.00$(24,076.36)$25,717.64
October Quarterly[44]October 22, 2013$25,717.64$4,450.00$(22,290.68)$7,876.96
Year End[45]January 31, 2014$7,876$26,300$(18,630)$15,546
April Quarterly[46]April 15, 2014$15,546$67,575$(40,402)$42,719
Running totals
$158,125$(116,405.04)

Carlos Curbelo

Carlos Curbelo (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[47]October 16, 2013$0.00$451,931.53$(43,762.96)$408,168.57
Year End[48]January 31, 2014$408,168$191,658$(46,084)$553,741
April Quarterly[49]April 15, 2014$553,741$310,223$(71,435)$792,530
Running totals
$953,812.53$(161,281.96)

Joe Martinez

Joe Martinez (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year End[50]January 31, 2014$0$11,910$(6,054)$5,855
April Quarterly[51]April 15, 2014$5,855$55,080$(11,265)$49,670
Running totals
$66,990$(17,319)

Outside spending

In February 2014, House Majority PAC made a $90,000 ad buy in Miami to defend Joe Garcia.[52]

The ad buy was intended to match conservative outside group Americans for Prosperity’s media campaign against Garcia. The PAC expected to spend approximately $400,000 media campaign in three Florida U.S. House districts, including against Garcia in the 26th.[52]

In a statement by House Majority PAC, spokesman Andy Stone said, “The Koch Brothers have funded attacks against Joe Garcia, meant to distort the truth in an effort to promote their reckless, anti-middle agenda, and House Majority PAC is making sure those charges don’t go unanswered."[52]

District history

Candidate Ballot Access
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2012

On November 6, 2012, Joe Garcia (D) won election to the United States House. He defeated David Rivera, Angel Fernandez and Jose Peixoto in the general election.

U.S. House, Florida District 26 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJoe Garcia 53.6% 135,694
     Republican David Rivera Incumbent 43% 108,820
     Independent Angel Fernandez 2.3% 5,726
     Independent Jose Peixoto 1.1% 2,717
Total Votes 252,957
Source: Florida Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

See also

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Sunshine State News, "Florida Congressional Races 2014 Early Look Where Fur will Fly" accessed March 8, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Sunshine State News, "David Rivera Seeks Political Comeback Against Joe Garcia," accessed May 6, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Miami Herald, "Under federal investigation, ex-Rep. David Rivera announces he'll run for congress again," accessed May 8, 2014
  4. Miami Herald, "It's Joe Garcia vs. David Rivera again -- this time, with more controversy," accessed May 8, 2014
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named runagainst
  6. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  7. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  8. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  9. Florida Division of Elections Website, "Register to Vote," accessed January 3, 2014
  10. The Washington Post "Census 2010 shows red states gaining congressional seats" accessed December 15, 2011
  11. Florida 2012 Redistricting Map "Map" accessed July 5, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Politico "Carlos Curbelo to challenge Joe Garcia in Florida" accessed July 8, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Florida Election Division, "Candidate List," accessed April 2, 2014
  14. CBS "Joe Martinez To Challenge Garcia For Congressional Seat" accessed July 9, 2013
  15. Miami Herald, "Former Miami-Dade commission chairman to formally challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia," accessed November 20, 2013
  16. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate List," accessed January 25, 2014
  17. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  18. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named run_again
  19. Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’" accessed November 21, 2013
  20. NRCC Young Guns, "List," accessed March 20, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Sunshine State News, "Mario Diaz-Balart Backs Carlos Curbelo to Challenge Joe Garcia," accessed May 27, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 Fox News, "Florida Democratic Congressman Under Fire For Saying 'Communism Works'," accessed May 28, 2014
  23. WINK News, "Rep. Garcia asks to stop deportations to Venezuela," accessed February 25, 2014
  24. 24.0 24.1 Miami Herald, "Amid political unrest, Miami Congressman Joe Garcia asks President Obama to let more Venezuelans stay in U.S.," accessed February 25, 2014
  25. Miami Herald, "New LIBRE Initiative ads target Joe Garcia over 'communism works' line," accessed June 5, 2014
  26. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  28. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  29. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  30. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 22, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 22, 2013
  33. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  34. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 10, 2014
  35. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  36. Miami Herald, "Joe Garcia draws challenger Carlos Curbelo on day he posts big cash-haul" accessed July 10, 2013
  37. [ http://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/818/13940515818/13940515818.pdf Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," May 22, 2014]
  38. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed May 22, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed May 22, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Year End," accessed May 22, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed May 22, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 29, 2013
  43. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 29, 2013
  44. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 4, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 24, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 4, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 24, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  50. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 24, 2014
  51. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 Roll Call, "Democratic Super PAC to Defend Joe Garcia," accessed February 11, 2014