Florida's 26th Congressional District elections, 2014

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Florida's 26th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
August 26, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Carlos Curbelo Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Joe Garcia Democratic Party
Joe Garcia.jpg

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Toss Up[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Toss Up[2]

Fairvote's Monopoly Politics: Lean D[3]

Florida U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Florida.png
The 26th congressional district of Florida will hold an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014.

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.[4][5][6]

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.[7] The new district includes portions of Monroe and Miami-Dade counties in the southern tip of Florida, including the Florida Keys.[8]


Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you see a name of a candidate who is missing, please email us and we will add that name. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page.General election candidates

August 26, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Failed to file

Race background

The third time proved to be the charm for 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.[15]

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

Incumbent Garcia was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program was designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[16]

The National Republican Congressional Committee added Curbelo to their "On the Radar" list in November 2013. According to the NRCC, candidates that made this list received "...the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents."[17] In March 2014, Curbelo was included on the NRCC's "Young Guns" list.[18]

Incumbent Garcia was defeated by Curbelo in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Republican primary

Scandal-plagued former Rep. David Rivera, who defeated Garcia in 2010 before being ousted by him in 2012, looked to make a political comeback despite facing continued investigations.[19]

Rivera’s re-emergence did not sit well with the other Republicans already looking to defeat Garcia. Miami Dade School Board member Curbelo brought up Rivera's ongoing investigations.[19] Curbelo was the Republican establishment favorite in the race and earned the endorsement of former Gov. Jeb Bush.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[21]

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 also ran in the primary.[15][19]

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.[15] 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.[15]

On July 11, 2014, just over two months after initially launching a campaign for his old seat, Rivera suspended his campaign, and instead said he was considering a run for the state House in 2016.[23] A month after announcing he suspended his campaign, Rivera announced on August 11, 2014, that he would continue his campaign for the Republican primary.[24] Rivera was defeated in the primary election by Curbelo.

District history


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


  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR June 26, 2014," accessed August 5, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 5, 2014
  3. Fairvote, "FairVote Releases Projections for the 2014 Congressional Elections," accessed August 5, 2014
  4. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  7. The Washington Post, "Census 2010 shows red states gaining congressional seats," accessed December 15, 2011
  8. Florida 2012 Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed July 5, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Politico, "Carlos Curbelo to challenge Joe Garcia in Florida," accessed July 8, 2013
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Florida Election Division, "Candidate List," accessed April 2, 2014
  11. CBS, "Joe Martinez To Challenge Garcia For Congressional Seat," accessed July 9, 2013
  12. Miami Herald, "Former Miami-Dade commission chairman to formally challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia," accessed November 20, 2013
  13. Miami Herald, "David Rivera suspends Miami campaign for Congress," accessed July 14, 2014
  14. Florida Division of Elections, "Candidate List," accessed January 25, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Sunshine State News "Florida Congressional Races 2014 Early Look Where Fur will Fly" accessed March 8, 2013
  16. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  17. Roll Call, "House Republicans Put 36 Recruits ‘On the Radar’" accessed November 21, 2013
  18. NRCC Young Guns, "List," accessed March 20, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Sunshine State News, "David Rivera Seeks Political Comeback Against Joe Garcia," accessed May 6, 2014
  20. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named run_again
  21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named runagain
  22. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named runagainst
  23. Miami Herald, "David Rivera suspends Miami campaign for Congress," accessed July 14, 2014
  24. Miami Herald, "With beginning of early voting, former Congressman David Rivera returns to campaign trail," accessed August 13, 2014 (dead link)