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Carlos Curbelo among House Republicans raking in big contributions early

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First-term Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo is raising election-season levels of campaign cash almost two years out from 2016 U.S. House elections – Curbelo’s campaign account has taken in $705,649 according to recent Federal Election Commission finance reports.

That gives Curbelo an almost $1.1 million fundraising lead over Democrat Annette Taddeo, who recently announced her candidacy for the 26th District.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a missive to press and supporters underscoring that fact Friday, along with a link to a National Journal story on how both parties’ House campaign arms are raising money more earlier than ever.

Republicans in particular are taking an “early and often” approach to major fundraising asks and, apparently, getting a receptive response.

“On average, vulnerable Republican incumbents raised twice as much money this past quarter as they did two years ago. Republicans in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s ‘Patriot Program’ for endangered incumbents raised an average of $476,253 last quarter, compared to $216,034 to start 2013,” notes Jack Fitzpatrick in NJ.

The newly-drawn 26th Congressional District is quickly becoming a major battleground in Democratic-leaning South Florida.

CD 26 takes in all of Monroe County – home to the liberal Florida Keys – as well as a relatively conservative portion of southwest Miami-Dade, setting up a perennially competitive environment akin the vexing Congressional District 2 in North Florida, which has elected three different representatives in the last four cycles.

Curbelo defeated a scandal-plagued Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia in a 2014 midterm cycle that generally favored Republicans to become the second lawmaker to hold the nascent seat, a windfall to Florida after 2010 census numbers led to the state’s apportionment of two new House delegates.

His challenger Taddeo will likely run with the prevailing winds in 2016 with higher turnout expectations commensurate with a presidential contest at the top of the ballot, but by some accounts her campaign operation has stumbled in the early going.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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