Carlos Curbelo may not be out of politics for long.
The two-term Republican congressman who lost reelection to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell earlier this month and was mocked by Donald Trump for not tying himself to the president is considering a run for Miami-Dade mayor in 2020, he told the Miami Herald.
“I have a passion for public service and I’m not discarding any possibility right now,” Curbelo said from a coffee shop that is doubling as his office during his final weeks in Washington. “I have always thought about the idea of serving another two years here and then serving as county mayor. This work is certainly not easy on the family.”
Curbelo, 38, said he’s not ready to make a final decision on any future runs for office anytime soon, adding that supporters have also encouraged him to run for Congress again after he lost reelection in the most Democratic-leaning district in the country represented by a Republican. He also plans to “find a way to keep my voice on the big issues I care about,” such as immigration, the environment and the national debt.
Curbelo would be competing in a wide-open race to succeed fellow Republican Carlos Gimenez, who must leave office in 2020 due to term-limits. While the mayoral post is non-partisan, Democrats see an opportunity to use the presidential election to take back the mayor’s office in deep-blue Miami-Dade for the first time since Alex Penelas finished his second term in 2004. Penelas is eyeing a comeback in 2020 with another mayoral run.
Gimenez endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, while Curbelo said he did not vote for Trump or Clinton. Curbelo frequently criticized the president over the past two years, but did vote to repeal Obamacare and helped draft the law that overhauled the nation’s tax system, and was successfully attacked by Democrats for his votes.