Meet the candidates

Four running in primary for 26th District seat

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Florida’s 26th Congressional District race, for years, has been an election battleground district. With Monroe County being one of four Florida pivot counties, all bets are off when it comes to the highly contested seat come November.

But before then is the Aug. 28 primary election, when incumbent Republican Carlos Curbelo will have one challenger on the ballot and Demetries Grimes and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell face off on the Democrat ticket.

In 2016, Monroe County voters largely voted Curbelo into the House (56 percent), but not so much in 2014, when 52 percent of Monroe voters filled in the bubble next to Democrat Joe Garcia.

As the Democrats attempt to regain control of the House, 22 seats are considered a tossup, and District 26 is one of them. It extends from southwest Miami, across the Everglades and from Homestead to Key West.

Here’s what you should know about the primary candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats.

CARLOS CURBELO
*Incumbent

Top 3 issues
1. Economy
2. Climate solutions
3. Immigration

Education
University of Miami
BA, MA, public
administration

Reason for running

“Serving as the representative for the people of the Florida Keys and South Dade has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. From passing legislation to provide cost-free tax preparation services for vulnerable taxpayers and protecting our coastal communities from foreign oil spills, to introducing bills to give young immigrants brought to our country as children a path to citizenship, I’ve worked hard with colleagues of both parties to build support behind issues that are important to South Florida.” 

Bottom line

“Now more than ever, I believe our elected officials need to be willing to reach across the aisle and find common ground to address the challenges facing our nation. I believe I can make an important contribution to that effort, and continue being an effective advocate for the needs of our community.” 

More information
www.carloscurbelo.com

 

DEBBIE MUCARSEL-POWELL

Top 3 issues
1. Healthcare
2. Education
3. Climate change

Education
BA, Pitzer College,
political science
MA, Claremont
University, international political economy

Reason for running

“I have seen so many families struggle making ends meet in this district and my community. It’s getting harder and harder for families to make it. There’s a huge gap in income equality and I’m running to give opportunities I was able to obtain 20-30 years ago. I want to bring back those opportunities. You should be able to afford health care.”

Bottom Line

“Opportunities — they’re disappearing. We have a huge problem with income inequality. Policies being passed in Washington are making it harder for low-income and middle-class families to make it, and we can change that. If you put me in Congress I’ll make sure to fight for everyone in my district. I can assure you of that.”

More information
www.debbiemucarselpowell.com

 

SOURAYA FAAS

Top 3 issues
1. Education
2. Security in schools
3. Immigration

Education
Florida International University
BA, political scienc
MA, political science & sociology


Reason for running

“I’m running for office because many people have lost faith in their politicians. Everyone makes empty promises in order to get elected and in the end they only work for the corporations and special interests that helped get them elected rather than focusing on the needs of the people.”

Bottom line

“My campaign is a campaign by the people, for the people, because in the end it’s about the people. I’m certain that I can bring a fresh new perspective and ideas to help bring forth bipartisan solutions that will benefit all people.”

More information
www.facebook.com/SourayaFaas

 

DEMETRIES GRIMES

Top 3 issues
1. Affordable healthcare
2. Improving education and better teacher pay
3. The economy

Education
BA, Boston University
MBA, London Business School

Military
U.S. Navy, Commander, retired. Years of service: 1989-2017

Reason for running

“I have real-world leadership and decision-making experience and am a proven and trusted leader. On day one, I’ll be serving the district and serving the nation.”

Bottom line

“I have real experience as a military officer and diplomat representing our nation to Greece and Israel as Naval Attaché and a commander at a military base with more than a thousand personnel. I fight for my people and resources, solve problems, and get the job done. I am the only candidate who can truly represent all the people of the district because I am not beholden to the establishment, or special interests as other candidates. I have the credibility and experience to bring the district the resources and attention it much needs.”

More information
www.grimesforcongress.com

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