Curbelo Reclaims Florida's Southernmost Congressional Seat For GOP

Nov 5, 2014

Carlos Curbelo celebrates victory Tuesday.

Miami-Dade school board member Carlos Curbelo surfed a national Republican wave to victory over Democrat Joe Garcia in Florida's 26th congressional district.

The state’s southernmost district includes both suburban Kendall and eclectic Key West.

Garcia won the seat two years ago, but Curbelo has returned it to Republican control.

Curbelo says voters are frustrated and disillusioned with government.

“We know that the economic recovery is leaving too many people behind," Curbelo said. "Too many young people are graduating from our colleges and universities with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, only to find themselves unemployed or underemployed. That is not fair.”

The local race had national interest – including $9 million in money from outside groups. The race cost $14 million total.

That money flooded the airwaves with ads about an investigation of a former Garcia staffer and the clients of Curbelo’s public relations firm.

Sixty-four-year-old Westchester resident Henry Bustillo said character was an issue for him.

"The most important thing is that he’s honest," Bustillo said. "Carlos Curbelo is a very honest person. Fair with everybody."

Curbelo says he and his congressional colleagues will need to rebuild the trust of voters.