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National Democrats take aim at Carlos Curbelo

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee put first-term U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo on notice Friday, preemptively calling him a “One-Term-Wonder” in his highly competitive South Florida U.S. House seat.

Specifically, the DCCC called out the Miami Republican for keeping a $10,000 contribution in soft money from his disgraced former House colleague Aaron Schock, who resigned in March following revelations the 33-year-old Illinois pol was using taxpayers’ money to front a lavish Downton Abbey-inspired remodeling of his Washington, D.C., office, among other financial no-nos.

The seat was likely to be up for grabs anyway owing to the tight partisan margins in the district, composed of the Keys and southwest Miami-Dade County, but national Dems upped the ante this morning in an email appeal to supporters.

“Curbelo has refused to return Schock’s money even after his fellow Florida Republican congressman, David Jolly, agreed to donate the $5,000 he received from Schock to charity ‘in an abundance of good faith,'” the missive noted.

Though Curbelo is not the only House Republican apparently planning to keep contributions from Schock’s Generation Y leadership PAC jangling in their campaign coffers, he is probably the most electorally at-risk.

The missive also included the script of a robocall going out to voters in Curbelo’s district that broadsides the congressman for his association with Schock and implies that there’s more where that came from.

“FEC violations? Shady campaign contributions? Questionable ethics? With Carlos Curbelo it’s all too familiar,” reads the script.

Former Charlie Crist running mate Annette Taddeo has announced her intentions to run for the seat, which Democrats believe is very much in play as the party heads into more favorable electoral tailwinds following a disastrous 2014 mid-term cycle.

Cook Political Report currently rates the FL-26 seat “leans Republican.”

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com 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 ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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