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Updated Oct. 14, 2010
TThe Diaz-Balart brothers successfully pulled off a case of political musical chairs this year to keep the 21st district in the family.
When Lincoln Diaz-Balart announced in February he would retire from the solidly Republican district, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) immediately announced he would retire from his more competitive 25th district to run in the 21st.
The move raised eyebrows in the political world but hasn't hurt Mario Diaz-Balart's chances in the Hialeah- and suburban Miami-based 21st district. No one filed to run against the Congressman this fall, so he'll have the ballot to himself.
District Profile from Politics in America
The Hispanic-majority 21st District is adjacent to the eastern edge of the Florida Everglades and includes middle-class suburbs in Miami-Dade County and a slice of Broward County, from parts of Pembroke Pines and Miramar in the north through most of Hialeah in its center and much of the Colombian-American area of Kendall to the south. It includes one-fourth of Miami-Dade's population.
Residents tend to commute from Hialeah, which has a significant Cuban-American community, to other parts of the Miami area for work. Miramar, where the population has skyrocketed in the last decade, and Pembroke Pines host young professionals from Latin America. The 21st has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents (56 percent) of any district in the nation.
Transportation-related businesses, including Carnival Cruise Lines, have headquarters and facilities close to Miami International Airport in Fountainbleau, but tourism-based industries can be volatile and the local economy is vulnerable to dips mirroring nationwide economic downturns. The airport -- a major international hub that carries tens of millions of passengers annually, many of them to Latin America -- is a key employment source and economic driver in southern Florida.
Traditionally, the 21st's politics center around immigration issues and opposition to Fidel Castro, but these political norms are shifting, and much of the local Cuban-American community no longer supports continuing the embargo against Cuba. Residents also take moderate stances on labor and social policy matters, and nearly one-quarter of registered voters here are unaffiliated with a political party. Historically GOP-leaning in statewide and federal elections, the district now holds nearly as many registered Democrats as Republicans. Republican John McCain took 51 percent of the district's 2008 presidential vote.
Transportation, trade, small business
Hialeah (pt.), 204,437; Pembroke Pines (pt.), 63,021; Kendall (unincorporated) (pt.), 60,083; Miramar (part), 58,246
The Audubon Society has designated Hialeah Park Racetrack a sanctuary for the American flamingo.
|2010||general||Mario Diaz-Balart (R)||unopposed|
|2008||general||Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)||137,226||57.9%|
|Raul Martinez (D)||99,776||42.1%|
|2006||general||Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)||66,784||59.5%|
|Frank Gonzalez (D)||45,522||40.5%|
|2004||general||Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)||146,507||72.8%|
|Frank Gonzalez (LIBERT)||54,736||27.2%|
|2002||general||Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R)||unopposed|
|2008||Barack Obama: 49%||John McCain: 51%|
|2004||John Kerry: 43%||George W. Bush: 57%|
|2000||Al Gore: 42%||George W. Bush: 57%|