It’s official: Joe Garcia will run for the Florida District 25 Senate Seat vacated by Mario Diaz-Balart’s skipping over to District 21. This means Garcia will try once again to capture the seat he lost by 6 percentage points to Diaz-Balart in 2008.
A familiar face is joining the race to represent part of Collier County in Congress.
Democrat Joe Garcia — who faced off with U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, for the District 25 seat in 2008 — officially announced today that he will run for the seat.
“I’m running because I’ve gotten thousands of calls from folks, working people in the district having a tough time, they need help and they need representation,” Garcia said in an interview with the Naples Daily News Tuesday. “Obviously this is a tough decision for my family and myself. It’s a tremendous sacrifice, but we want to help. We want to be part of the solution, not of the problem.”
In a YouTube video released today Garcia, surrounded by his wife of 18 years, Aileen, and 12-year-old daughter Gaby, 12, said that his top priorities are to create jobs, fully-fund schools and cut the deficit.
“We need leaders that will take a stand, do what’s right. My wife and I have a young daughter and we see what’s happening in our community. Too many families are out of work, taxes are too high and many families are one diagnosis away from bankruptcy,” said Garcia in the YouTube announcement and in written statement. “We can’t send to Washington the same Tallahassee politicians that raised taxes by $2 billion in the middle of a recession and created the worst fiscal disaster in Florida’s history. Our children deserve every opportunity previous generations had — that’s why I’m running for Congress.”
He resigned from his post as the Energy Department’s Director of the Office of Economic Impact, to run for Congress in Florida’s 25th district.
In 2008, Garcia came close to defeating then incumbent Diaz-Balart for the District 25 seat, which spans Western Miami-Dade, Eastern Collier and mainland Monroe counties.
According to the Florida Division of Elections Web site, as of Tuesday Garcia will face Miami Democrat Luis A. Rivera in the August primary.
Meanwhile the Republican primary for District 25 includes state Rep. David Rivera, who represents part of Collier County in his district; Homestead resident Edward Bollinger; Miami resident Paul Crespo; and Naples resident James Patrick Guerrero.
Also in the running for the seat are two other Miami-Dade County residents’ Whig party candidate Craig Porter and nonpartisan candidate Marili Cancio.
Looks like Garcia is a safe bet to win the primary and head to the general election to face one of the Republicans listed in the Naples News story. The better-known GOP names are Florida Rep. David Rivera and Paul Crespo. Obviously, Garcia is banking on a Rivera win since he made an indirect reference to the state legislator in referring to “Tallahassee politicians” raising taxes during a recession.
That’s all fine and well, except we haven’t heard from Garcia regarding his support or opposition to Obama’s economic plans and health care bill. He lost by 6 points when the stars were aligned in his favor in 2008. Although his opponent won’t have the same name recognition and stature as Mario Diaz-Balart, anyone with a (D) next to their name is sure to behind the 8-ball from the start in 2010. Personally, I don’t think he has much of a chance unless he can convince people that he’s nowhere close to being an Obama Democrat which, considering his cabinet position in the Energy Department, will be hard to do.