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On first day of Miami-Dade early voting, Carlos Curbelo unveils Mitt Romney endorsement


When a Miami congressional candidate seeking the support of stalwart Republican primary voters already has the backing of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, whose endorsement is left to unveil?

Mitt Romney's.

The former presidential candidate became the latest prominent supporter touted by the campaign of Carlos Curbelo -- on the first day of early voting in Miami-Dade County.

"I am proud to stand with Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative leader who will work hard to reform our government, balance the budget, and improve the quality of life for the people of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties," Romney said in a statement put out by Curbelo's campaign.

"As an education reformer, Carlos puts students first. In Washington, he will put his community and our country first. I urge my friends in Florida's 26th Congressional District to vote for Carlos Curbelo."

Curbelo, a Miami-Dade School Board member, is vying for his party's nomination to challenge Democrat Joe Garcia in a district that extends from Westchester to Key West. He has long been the GOP establishment's favorite candidate in the race; he has the financial support of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

"Governor Romney is a great leader who has dedicated many years of his life to serving our nation, with a vision for future generations, and always striving to make us better and stronger. In the last election he earned the support and respect of many millions of Americans," Curbelo said in the statement. "I am honored to have his endorsement, and I share his vision for a smaller, limited government that will lead to more freedom and a robust economy for every American."

Also running are Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez, attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck and former Congressman David Rivera.