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Xavier Becerra to campaign with Darren Soto in CD 9

U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra of California will be in Central Florida Tuesday campaigning with state Sen. Darren Soto in his bid to join Becerra in Congress from Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Becerra, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, will join Soto at two public events and a press conference in CD 9, including a roundtable on immigration and “Dreamers” in Auburndale.

CD 9 covers south Orange County, all of Osceola County, and west Polk County and has a large Hispanic population. The district also has very large populations of Puerto Ricans in Orange and Osceola, and Mexican-Americans in Polk. Soto is of Puerto Rican descent and intends to be the first Puerto Rican elected to Congress from Florida. Becerra is of Mexican descent.

“Darren has been an ally of hardworking people, including immigrant families, in Florida. He stood up against a discriminatory Arizona-style immigration proposal in the Florida Legislature and championed a law that gives Dreamers a fair shot at a higher education,” Becerra stated in a news release issued by Soto’s campaign. “I’m convinced he will continue to work hard in Congress for those who don’t have a voice and deserve a better life, and I look forward to calling him a colleague.”

Soto is in a four-way contest with Valleri Crabtree, Dena Grayson and Susannah Randolph for the Aug. 30 Democratic primary in CD 9. The winner would face the winner of the Republican primary, either Wanda Rentas or Wayne Liebnitzky, in a district that leans strongly Democratic.

In addition to the Dreamers roundtable, slated for 12:30 p.m., Soto and Becerra will hold a community meet-and-greet at the Robert Guevara Community Center in Kissimmee at 3:30 p.m.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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