Politics

Republicans Line Up to Challenge Embattled Freshman Democrat #FL26 | The Field

Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., has become an increasingly attractive target for Republicans in the past few months, thanks to ongoing legal troubles among staffers from his office.

Two of Garcia's staffers have resigned in the past few months, while GOP congressional hopefuls continue to line up to run in one of the most competitive House districts in the country.

Garcia denied involvement in voter fraud scheme that has embroiled two of his former staffers — both of whom have resigned. Democrats are sticking by their freshman and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is set to host a fundraiser for him on Wednesday.

Still, the legal drama means the seat has become a magnet for ambitious Miami Republicans. Here's a look at the GOP field so far:

  • Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo officially entered the race in early July. Roll Call previously described Curbelo as a protege to former Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
  • Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez announced his candidacy via Facebook in February, but he has yet to file a statement of candidacy. For now, he is marketing his own cologne, "The Commissioner."
  • Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall filed in February 2013 and launched his campaign in May.
  • Republicans mentioned state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz as a candidate earlier this year, but GOP sources say a Congressional run is looking increasingly less likely.
Toss-up/Tilt Democrat