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The Diaz-Balart political dominoes

With Lincoln Diaz-Balart retiring, word is his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, will run for Lincoln's seat -- a safer Republican district. That would open up Mario's seat. Among the names mentioned: David Rivera and Anitere Flores who are running for a state Senate seat that is almost fully contained in the congressional district. Rivera is already being widely viewed as a front runner for the U.S. House seat

And there's speculation the open seat could entice Democrat Joe Garcia to try again. Garcia came close to ousting the younger Diaz-Balart in 2008, but is now working in Washington for the Obama administration. And will the news of an open seat prompt retiring Miami-Dade commissioner Katie Sorenson to reconsider a bid?

Rivera would have to give up a lot of the money he's already raised for his Senate bid because it's corporate -- but his donors could give it back to him. But there's also word that strategist Carlos Curbelo may throw his hat in. A little over a year ago, Curbelo lost to Rivera by a sole vote in the race to chair the Miami-Dade Republican Party.

The race could have implications for other races on the ballot: Curbelo is loyal to Senate candidate Charlie Crist; Rivera is tight with his primary challenger Marco Rubio. But they share one thing with the Diaz-Balarts: both are ardent supporters of the embargo against Cuba. Curbelo has never held elected office.

Curbelo called Diaz-Balart the "personification of honorable public service. That's his legacy. Our community is losing a strong voice in Washington but is gaining a private citizen that will continue working for the causes that unite us."

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