As we head towards the November general election, several Florida contests appear to be of importance to the balance of power in the U.S. Congress.
The Sun-Sentinel reported on Sunday that “national political analysts foresee a Republican gain of two or three U.S. House seats in Florida”:
Four Democratic incumbents appear vulnerable: Alan Grayson of Orlando, Suzanne Kosmas of New Smyrna Beach, Allen Boyd of Monticello and Ron Klein of Boca Raton. On the other hand, two open seats vacated by Republicans in South and Central Florida offer opportunities for Democrats.
Competing for the District 25 open seat are Democrat Joe Garcia and Republican state Rep. David Rivera.
A similar contest is unfolding in the 12th District, [Polk, Hillsborough and a small area of Osceola counties] where Republican Adam Putnam is retiring to run for agriculture commissioner. That sets up a competitive race between Republican Dennis Ross, a former legislator, and Democrat Lori Edwards, the supervisor of elections in Polk County.
The South Florida race for District 25 is Garcia’s second run after losing a tight campaign to Republican Mario Diaz-Balart. In the Aug. 24 primary, Garcia defeated AFL-CIO-backed candidate Luis Meurice. Garcia was executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation and was nominated by President Obama to be the director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact and Diversity of the Department of Energy.
David Rivera has the support of the Diaz-Balart brothers who have been elected officials at the state and federal level for a combined 47 years. Lincoln Diaz-Balart will not seek his 10th term, so his brother Mario will take over his seat in District 21. He faces no opposition.
District 25 includes areas of southwest Miami-Dade, Collier, and Monroe counties.