Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo didn't vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but his campaign is about to get a cash infusion from the president as he fights for reelection. Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who did vote for Trump and is facing a competitive reelection himself, is also set to receive money along with Trump supporter and U.S. Senate hopeful Rick Scott. The Florida Republicans are part of a group of 100 Republicans nationwide that are receiving direct financial support from the president as the GOP seeks to maintain control of Congress.
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President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is giving money to a surprising group of Republican candidates this fall — those who are not only more moderate than he is, but also those have openly defied him on key issues of immigration and trade.
Some didn’t even vote for him.
Reps. Jeff Denham of California and Carlos Curbelo of Florida, who led a failed effort opposed by the White House to circumvent House leaders and force a vote on granting citizenship to so-called Dreamers, are getting Trump’s money, according to a list of favored candidates obtained by McClatchy.
Some vulnerable Republicans may not welcome the donations, fearful that Democrats will seize on the money as they look to tie the GOP to a controversial president in districts he lost in 2016 or where he remains unpopular.
“We have neither solicited nor received said contribution,” said Joanna Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Curbelo, who represents the most Democratic-leaning House district in the country held by a Republican seeking re-election.
Curbelo of Miami is a frequent critic of Trump and did not support him in the 2016 race.
The Trump campaign announced last week that it would donate the maximum amount allowed by law — $2,000 per candidate — to 100 Republicans running for Congress in November, perhaps a sign that the GOP is worried it will lose its majorities in Congress. Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats in the House and two in the Senate to gain control of the chambers.
The Trump campaign did not disclose which candidates would receive contributions and did not respond to subsequent questions about how the candidates were selected, but McClatchy obtained a detailed list.
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