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Joe Garcia may be more mellow this time around

He has tamed his unruly mop of hair -- and, perhaps, his impetuous nature.

Call it Joe Garcia, version 2010.

He's still the brash Democrat who ran for Congress two years ago and lost to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart by six points in an election year when Democrats clobbered Republicans to take the White House, the Senate and the House.

But that stinging defeat and a stint working for the Obama administration have mellowed the hard-charging Garcia, his friends say -- at least as much as can be expected for a guy who never met a political match he didn't like.

"No one will ever accuse me of not enjoying people,'' Garcia said with a grin in a recent interview. "I'm a believer that you have a good argument, but then you move forward, right?"

A longtime political operative, Garcia has never been elected to public office, though he has landed high-paying roles by appointment from Democrats in power.

Now Garcia, 47, is engaged in a tumultuous, closely watched battle with Republican David Rivera over Diaz-Balart's open seat in a key swing district targeted by both political parties. Allies of Garcia sued Rivera this week to disqualify him from the ballot over questions about Rivera's financial disclosures.

Read the full profile here.