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Mario Diaz-Balart: Reports of my departure have been greatly exaggerated

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart's anemic fundraising this past quarter -- $26,100 -- has prompted speculation among Democrats that he's not interested in running for re-election.

Not so, the Miami Republican said Wednesday: "I'm not retiring, I'm running for re-election."

Diaz-Balart admits he didn't raise a lot of money in the quarter that ended Dec. 31 -- "you have to give people a break," he said. He said he's got "a bunch of things (fundraisers) planned" and that he's "feeling good about where we are." He finished the quarter with $178,549.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart, by comparison, raised $117,250 for the quarter and has $259,473 on hand.

So what about the speculation over retirement? "They should read into the last election," Mario Diaz-Balart said -- noting he won reelection to the seat in 2008 -- in a good year for Democrats -- and after a spirited and well-funded challenge from Joe Garcia.

Besides, Diaz-Balart just got new business cards made: with all the information in Braille for sight-impaired constituents.

"People are really pleased with them," he said. "It makes it a lot easier for some folks to reach us." 

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