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Garcia vs. Diaz-Balart heats up

The Cook Political Report says today the Mario Diaz-Balart vs. Joe Garcia race is looking increasingly competitive -- moving it up a notch to "likely Republican" from "solid Republican."

"If his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, faces the most serious challenge of the three Cuban-American Republican incumbents in Florida, Mario Diaz-Balart faces the second most serious challenge," House editor David Wasserman writes.

He says that Garcia notes that the district is less Republican than Lincoln Diaz-Balart's neighboring district.

"Garcia's profile as a party official may hamper his ability to portray himself as an outsider this year," Wasserman said. "Still, his sizable network of local supporters also makes this a race to watch."

Cook last month similarly bumped up the Lincoln Diaz-Balart vs. Raul Martinez race to "likely Republican" from "solid Republican."

President Bush is in Naples tomorrow to raise money for the brothers' re-election.