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Joe Garcia, Carlos Curbelo slated to debate one more time Tuesday night


It will really be the final debate, both sides say, when U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and challenger Carlos Curbelo face off for the eighth time Tuesday night.

Both campaigns have confirmed their attendance on A Fondo with Pedro Sevcec, which airs at 8 p.m. on WJAN-América TeVe, a Miami Spanish-language television station. The event was a late add-on to the two candidates' debate schedules; Curbelo had said yes to the invitation but Garcia had not, until late last week.

But while Garcia's campaign touted the lengthy list of debates in a news release Monday, Curbelo's campaign noted that Garcia had initially said he could make a Monday night appearance on Ahora with Oscar Haza, on WSBS-TV, known as Mega TV. Then the Democrat called it off shortly thereafter because he would be in the Florida Keys and unable to make it.

A spokesman for the Republican Curbelo called the backtracking "an act of cowardice and a slap in the face to Miami's Hispanic community" because Garcia initially agreed only to one Spanish-language debate. He later agreed to another.

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott also agreed to only one Spanish-language debate out of three total against Democrat Charlie Crist. Scott's running mate, Lieutenant Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, agreed to none against Annette Taddeo, who specifically asked for an exchange in Spanish (in which she is more fluent than he is).

When asked a few weeks ago if the top of the GOP ticket should have accepted more debates, Curbelo said yes.