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A hot congressional race in the making

Just days after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart put his congressional district up for grabs by launching a campaign for his retiring brother's seat, the pursuit of top candidates is well underway.

In a sign that the Diaz-Balarts may throw their support behind state Rep. David Rivera of Miami, he was spotted at a Miami restaurant on Saturday huddling with Lincoln Diaz-Balart's chief of staff, Ana Carbonell, and the family's close ally, Ana Navarro.

Democratic consultant Jeff Garcia reports that Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House have been reaching out to former Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairman Joe Garcia, who lost to Mario-Diaz Balart in 2008. He now works for the Obama administration in the Department of Energy. "The courtship is off the charts,'' Garcia said.