The Democratic primary in U.S. House District 26 is getting testy, as evidenced by a candidate forum Tuesday night in which Annette Taddeo continued her offensive against former Rep. Joe Garcia.
Taddeo defended her campaign's recent use of negative advertising against Garcia, and said the newly redrawn district that extends from Westchester to Key West doesn't need any more political shenanigans.
Taddeo was referring to Garcia's former chief of staff, who secretly financed a ringer tea-party candidate in 2010.
"My level of disappointment to find out that the exact same thing that David Rivera had done was done by the person I supported was very high," Taddeo told the Kendall Federation of Homeowner Associations. "I think that we have had enough of playing with voters, playing with elections and doing things that are just not right."
She insinuated that her negative attacks will pale in comparison to what Republicans will do if Garcia wins the Aug. 30 primary.
"Believe me, when the Koch brothers and the Republicans get a hold of the attack ads, it will be 10 times worse," Taddeo said.
Garcia, who leads in the polls, said he won't go negative.
"I don't think we have to do that," he said. "I think what we have to do is speak about the issues and speak about my record. Whether it's taking on FPL (Florida Power and Light), whether it's making sure the environment is clean...all these things are tremendously important."
On the issues, both candidates agreed on many of the topics brought forth by voters, such as agriculture policy, the Iran nuclear deal, climate change and fracking.
One issue where Taddeo attacked Garcia was on his Obamacare record.
"There is a record of votes," Taddeo said. "Eight times my opponent voted against Obamacare with the Republicans. Those votes had only three or four Democrats that voted with the Republicans and he was one of them. Let's check the record with Obamacare."
Garcia defended his Obamacare support and said his votes were about the well-publicized implementation failures Obamacare had during the first few months of its release.
"I don't go to Washington to represent the president, I go to represent the people of this district," Garcia said. "You saw the implementation problems Obamacare had. I was on the floor of the House of Representatives. Unlike her, I actually have a record. I was sitting there voting for them. What we did was make it easier for people to subscribe to and expand Obamacare."