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Joe Garcia presents economic plan in race against Rep. David Rivera

An hour before the Florida Commission on Ethics announced 11 charges against Congressman David Rivera, his opponent, Joe Garcia, held a made-for-media event to promote his 26-point economic plan (for Congressional District 26).

In some ways, the event was a flashback to two years ago, when Garcia -- vying against Rivera for what was then an open seat -- unveiled a 25-point economic plan (for then Congressional District 25) in a Doral flower packaging and distribution plant. He used the same slogan back then, too: "Joe is for Jobs."

This time, the venue -- MWL Engineering, a South Miami-area precision metal work plant -- was different. And so is the contest: Rivera, a Republican, has trailed Garcia, a Democrat, in several polls, and political analysts have said the outlook of the race is less favorable for Rivera, though Florida insiders know better than to discount the congressman's honed political skills.

In fact, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the press conference was that it drew Washington D.C.-based reporters from BBC radio and a Miami crew from CNN, both signs that the race is being closely watched because it has the potential of changing political-party hands.

"A lot of the folks that work here live in the district," Garcia said at the plant, noting the importance of small businesses to the South Florida economy. "It's the small projects every day that give an opportunity to this company to go forward."

Then, in an indirect reference to Rivera, he added: "It's tremendously important to leave the scandals behind us and turn the page."

When asked why he had waited until two weeks before Election Day to present an economic plan, Garcia said it's only now that most voters are paying attention.

Read Garcia's plan here.

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