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Mucarsel-Powell raises $500K in quarter to fund Curbelo challenge

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@NewsbySmiley

The Democratic challenger looking to unseat Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo in one of the most-watched U.S. House campaigns of the mid-term elections pulled in a half-million dollars during the first quarter of the year.

The Debbie Mucarsel-Powell campaign announced Tuesday that it raised more than $500,000 during the quarter, bringing the candidate's campaign account to $920,000. Mucarsel-Powell, a former associate dean of Florida International University’s College of Medicine, has about $700,000 cash on hand, according to her campaign.

The Democrat will need all the money she can raise to knock off the Republican incumbent, even in a left-leaning district during a mid-term election that historically favors the minority party. In 2016, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the district by 16 points, but Curbelo beat former congressman Joe Garcia by 12.

“I am extremely grateful for the ongoing support we’ve received from the 26th district and across Florida,” Mucarsel-Powell said in a statement. “Congressman Curbelo’s values do not align with our community: from voting to rip away health care from millions of Americans; to breaking his promise to DREAMers; to voting with Paul Ryan and Republican leadership 84% of the time. It is clear families across South Florida are ready for change and with our coalition of supporters, we will take back this seat for the people of Florida in November."

A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed Mucarsel-Powell down five points to Curbelo (45 – 40) last month. The DCCC was positive about the results, given that Mucarsel-Powell has spent little on her campaign and has run for office only once before, in 2016. But Curbelo's district performed an average of 6 percentage points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole between the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, so Curbelo is polling ahead of the Democratic average in the district according to the DCCC's own polling.

Curbelo hasn’t reported numbers for the first quarter, but it’s likely he’ll retain a significant financial advantage over Mucarsel-Powell through the quarter. As of the beginning of the year, Curbelo had raised $2.25 million and spent $600,000.

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