Two South Florida congressional seats show up on DCCC’s new list of 2022 targets

Gimenez Salazar two shot
The two districts are among a list of 22 "districts in play" nationwide for the DCCC.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is looking to flip a pair of South Florida seats next cycle, setting their sights on Florida’s 26th and 27th congressional districts.

On Tuesday, the DCCC released a list of 22 contests nationwide that would be part of their “Districts In Play” program. One of those seats is open, the rest are held by Republicans. All of those 22 will likely feature plenty of resources poured in from both sides, and two are neighboring districts in South Florida.

Democrats lost hold of both CD 26 and CD 27 this past November. Republican candidate Carlos Giménez ousted Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in CD 26. Maria Elvira Salazar edged Donna Shalala in a rematch of the CD 27 contest. Both districts are located in Miami-Dade County, though CD 26 stretches down to the Keys in Monroe County as well.

DCCC Chairman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney says he’s spotlighting those seats — and 20 others nationwide — to get them back under Democratic control. In announcing the new push, Maloney referenced the recent $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which earned unanimous opposition from congressional Republicans.

“Every single Republican on this list voted against putting checks in pockets and shots in arms, and we’re going to make sure voters in their district know it,” Maloney said.

“The DCCC is prepared to protect our majority by recruiting compelling candidates and empowering their campaigns with the resources they need to draw the contrast between Democrats’ record of fighting for the middle class and Republicans’ toxic brand of defending conspiratorial insurrectionists and opposing direct relief for working families.”

The DCCC has already signaled its intentions to make a play in CD 27. The group has released multiple ads targeting Salazar in just the first few months of 2021.

The group was also active in CD 26 last cycle, placing Mucarsel-Powell in its Frontline Program. That initiative aimed to funnel resources to contested races to protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

While Democrats lost both seats, the races were close and came amid a large Republican wave in Miami-Dade County. Still, both races featured around a 3-point margin for Republicans. If Democrats can catch some wind at their back in the midterms, those seats could turn blue once again.

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].com.


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