U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia from Miami is having a tough time recently. In the past couple weeks, accusations of fraudulent absentee ballots forced Garcia to fire his chief of staff as well as suspend his communications director.
NationalJournal.com reports that Republican Carlos Curbelo, former political consultant and member of the Miami-Dade School board, is considering Garcia’s troubles as an opportunity for a viable GOP challenge in 2014. Garcia won District 26 with 53 percent of the vote in 2012.
Speaking in Washington at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference this week, Curbelo also met with Sen. Marco Rubio. Curbelo said Rubio is supportive of his desire to run, but does not expect Rubio to make an official endorsement in the Republican primary.
Last month, Curbelo announced an exploratory committee listing nearly 30 powerful Florida names on his finance team, including a few of Jeb Bush’s close advisors, as well as former Sen. George LeMieux, former state House Speaker Dean Cannon and political blogger Justin Sayfie.
Many observers saw this as a clear message to other potential GOP candidates to back off on the District 26 race.
However, it will not be smooth sailing for Curbelo if he should decide to run. First, by 2014, the scandals dogging Garcia will have mostly faded from memory. Second, other popular Republicans are still looking to enter the race. What’s more is the widely unpopular Gov. Rick Scott will be on the top of the ticket.