Joe Biden backs Debbie Mucarsel-Powell amid tough CD 26 reelection bid
Image via AP.

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Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez is seeking to unseat Mucarsel-Powell.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is wading into the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District with an endorsement for Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

“Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell came to this country as an immigrant from Ecuador when she was 14 because her parents believed in the American Dream,” Biden said in a Thursday statement.

“Now, in Washington, Debbie is fighting to make sure everyone can access that same dream. Debbie is leading efforts to lower health care costs, writing the bill requiring Medicare Advantage to cover the cost of treatment for the coronavirus, and, working to pass an infrastructure bill to fix our broken roads and bridges and create millions of jobs. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is delivering for South Florida’s working families in Congress and I’m proud to support her.”

Mucarsel-Powell’s reelection contest is expected to be one of the most competitive in the country, a fact she acknowledged earlier this year. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez is running as a Republican in an effort to oust the incumbent.

It’s unsurprising Biden would back the Democratic incumbent over a Republican challenger. What is noteworthy is Biden’s decision to step into the contest at all. It signals Democrats are taking seriously the need to highlight the race and mobilize voters. Election forecasters currently see the CD 26 contest as a toss-up.

Democratic groups have prioritized the race this cycle. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) placed the incumbent in its Frontline Program, which funnels resources to potentially vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the House. This week, the race has also been flooded with ads from partisan groups on both sides, showing attention to this contest is rising as Election Day nears.

Now, the former Vice President is stepping in to help Mucarsel-Powell hold onto a seat she won by 2 percentage points in 2018.

“I am extremely honored to receive the endorsement of our future President Joe Biden,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

“Like me, Joe Biden believes that we can unite to rebuild our country by providing the same opportunities that I received when I came to the United States from Ecuador at 14. Working with Joe Biden, I will fight to expand our community’s access to quality health care, bring good paying jobs to South Florida, and invest in our crumbling infrastructure to strengthen our economy and protect our environment.”

Mucarsel-Powell also earned support from the South Florida AFL-CIO Thursday as the group contrasted her record with that of Mayor Giménez.

“The COVID-19 crisis has brought an unprecedented wave of concern and risk to our labor force and where our Miami-Dade County leadership failed, Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell excelled,” said South Florida AFL-CIO President Jeffrey Mitchell.

“Congresswoman Mucarsel-Powell has proven to be a true representative of the community and deserves all of our support in her run for a second term.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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