It's probably safe to start calling Carlos Curbelo a frontrunner in the Republican race to unseat Congressman Joe Garcia. The Miami-Dade school board member reported raising slightly more ($450k than the incumbent ($440k) did last quarter.
But there's a difference: Curbelo had an exploratory committee before he officially announced, meaning his cash haul includes a few extra days or even weeks of fundraising.
Also, it's tough to beat an incumbent who won his seat by 10.6 percentage points in the newly drawn District 26, which President Obama won by about 7 points. But then, Democrats and left-leaning voters tend to underperform in mid-term elections.
Here's the press release:
The committee held its first official event on August 15th and attracted support from mostly Florida residents and many younger voters.
"There's a lot of excitement in the community for our campaign. Washington DC is badly broken and people know Joe Garcia is part of the problem. Today I thank everyone who is standing with me in this effort to offer solutions for the future of our country," said Curbelo.
Curbelo was elected to the School Board of Miami-Dade County in 2010, and was reelected last year without opposition. During Curbelo's time on the Board, Miami-Dade County Public Schools has won accolades for improving student performance while keeping taxes low.
Curbelo is challenging freshman Congressman Joe Garcia whose campaign is under investigation by the FBI and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office for illegally financing a straw candidate and absentee voter fraud, respectively. Garcia who had been rejected by voters on three occasion prior to the 2012 elections recently made headlines for likening his House colleagues to the Taliban, a terrorist organization responsible for the death of many Americans.
"During his brief tenure in Congress, Joe Garcia has embarrassed our community over and over again despite promising not to while campaigning last year. His unhealthy obsession with elected office has clouded his judgment and hurt our district," said Curbelo.
*All figures unofficial