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Miami-Dade school board member poised to announce congressional bid


Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo is poised to make official his bid to challenge Congressman Joe Garcia.

Curbelo, joined by his family, will make an announcement regarding the District 26 congressional race at his Kendall home on Tuesday. He formed an exploratory committee on May 20 to gear up for a run.

"All the responses I've received have been very positive and very encouraging," Curbelo told the Miami Herald on Monday.

urbelo, a Republican political consultant, has repeatedly pounced on Garcia, a Miami Democrat, over an investigation into fraudulent absentee-ballot requests that has engulfed the congressman's office since May 31. He released a poll last month showing Garcia's popularity is somewhat soft in his Kendall-to-Key West district. Garcia's office has dismissed the survey as "skewed."

Garcia's fundraising totals for the quarter that ended June 30 have not yet been posted, but his campaign thanked supporters in a July 2 email.

"With your help we hit our online fundraising goals," he said. "Because of the overwhelming support we've received over [the] past six months - we are in a strong position to hold this seat next November."

The GOP field of potential Garcia challengers appears crowded, with former Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez and Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall both announcing runs earlier this year. Other candidates could still jump in or leave the race, since there is plenty of time left to qualify for the 2014 election.

Curbelo would not have to resign his School Board seat, to which he was elected last year, to run for Congress.