Joe Garcia announces he is far ahead of GOP competition in CD 26 money race

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U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia announced today that he has quickly outperformed the competition in both fundraising and cash on hand, bolstering his lead in the money race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

The Miami Democrat released his first-quarter campaign finance numbers, just as the filings of several of his GOP opponents were made available: Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, Cutler Bay Mayor Edward MacDougal, longtime Miami politician Joe Martinez, attorney Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Palomares-Starbuck and business executive Jose Felix Peixoto, who is still listed as active.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Garcia’s re-election campaign said they “dramatically outpaced their opponents,” adding that it was “a powerful signal of Representative Garcia’s broad and strong support.”

In the filings, Garcia pointed out that he raised a total of $463,083 from contributors in the first quarter, noting that it was $100,000 more than the amount raised by three of his Republican opponents — MacDougal, Martinez and Palomares-Starbuck — combined.

These numbers indicate Garcia has about $2.3 million to date, nearly double the combined total of three of his chief opponents for the U.S. House seat covering Miami-Dade County through the Florida Keys.

The statement also goes to mention Garcia has more than $1.6 million cash on hand, which is more than double the cash on hand of Curbelo, his nearest challenger.

“I am proud to have earned the support of the people of Miami-Dade who share my commitment to prioritizing hard work, problem solving, and bipartisan leadership over ideological bickering,” Garcia said.

“We still have more work to do – but I know that together we can continue to ensure that South Florida residents have a true champion in Congress who will fight for our values in Washington.”

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.