Miami Herald Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Over Incumbent Carlos Curbelo In Florida’s 26th District

Miami, FL – On Sunday, the Miami Herald’s Editorial Board announced its support for Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell over incumbent Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo in the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

“Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is the realer deal for District 26 and will advocate for its residents’ everyday interests,” the board wrote.

The editorial board members commended Debbie’s work as associate dean at the FIU Medical School, describing her as a “strong, consistent voice for a progressive push for humane and common-sense policies.” 

They also touted her support for common-sense gun reform policies like establishing universal background checks, closing the gun-show loophole and banning assault-style automatic weapons, as well as her commitment to creating a tax code that benefits working families instead of the wealthiest Americans.

In its endorsement of Mucarsel-Powell, the editorial board sharply criticized Congressman Curbelo’s record in Washington, reminding readers that Curbelo has voted with President Trump over 80% of the time on “policies that stand to do damage to his constituents.”

The board also blasted his inconsistent positions on gun reform and his votes to take away health care from over 100,000 people in the district. “(Mucarsel-Powell) understands that the healthcare program should be improved, not repealed,” the board wrote.

Additionally, the board members criticized Curbelo’s ineffectiveness when it came to protecting immigrants and passing a clean DREAM Act. In the end, they said, voters in Florida’s 26th Congressional District deserve a new voice in Congress: “…at a time when the Affordable Care Act remains on Republicans’ hit list, immigration reform is on life support and income inequality plagues this community, Curbelo’s efforts have not been good enough.”

With only three weeks to go before the election, Mucarsel-Powell has been aggressively working to show the clear contrast between herself and Curbelo. Several polls have shown her gaining ground against her opponent.

BACKGROUND:

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Black Economic Alliance Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami, FL – Black Economic Alliance, a national group that advocates for economic policies that provide better work, wages and wealth for Black Americans, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in her race to unseat Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo.

“Debbie Mucarsel-Powell will fight for racial justice, an inclusive economy and better wages for every American,” said Akunna Cook, Executive Director of the Black Economic Alliance. “As we move to create a country that represents every single American, we must elect leaders like Debbie who will ensure Black Americans and Black children are not left behind in the journey towards progress.”

“We can work together to create an economy that works for everyone by prioritizing the policies that the Black Economic Alliance advocates for,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. “Whether we’re talking about health care or education or any other issue, the federal policies we’ve seen from this administration have affected minorities and working-class communities disproportionately. In Congress, I will continually strive to fulfill our nation’s promise of equal rights and opportunities for all of us, and the blueprint BEA lays out will help us reach that goal.”

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Mucarsel-Powell Raises Over $1.6 Million In Latest Quarter

Miami– In her race to unseat Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell raised over $1.6 million in the most recent quarter, her largest haul to date and the latest sign that she will be a strong challenger in next month’s election, thanks to the support of thousands in her community.

More than 70,000 donors gave an average contribution of about $13 over the past three months, which will empower Mucarsel-Powell to continue to get her message out to voters and let them know about Curbelo’s shameful voting record in Washington.

Average contribution

$13.35

Total Unique Donors

70,160


It’s the latest sign of momentum for the Democrat, who has surged in several consecutive polls with less than a month left before the general election:

  • She led Curbelo 50-48 in a poll conducted last week for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm, the first poll this cycle with a candidate in this district at 50%;

  • She led Curbelo by one point, 49-48, in a survey of 500 likely voters released last week by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research;

  • A similar survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed Mucarsel-Powell leading Curbelo by one point, 45-44;

  • And an earlier poll commissioned by the New York Times showed Curbelo at 47-44, with 9% undecided.

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Mucarsel-Powell Campaign Sets The Record Straight On Debates

Miami– Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s campaign released the following statement this Monday as her opponent, Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, is attempting to sell a bogus narrative regarding debates in the competitive race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

“Carlos Curbelo is either suffering from amnesia or purposely lying in order to distract from the fact that voters are turning on him, as they learn more about his terrible voting record,” said Melvin Félix, spokesman for the Mucarsel-Powell campaign. “Debbie looks forward to debating her opponent on the issues, and she has agreed to several debates and forums to remind voters that Curbelo has deceived them in Washington. And it’s comical that these name-calling tactics are coming from a congressman who has refused to hold a town hall with our community members since at least January 1, 2017.”

 

Here are the facts: Mucarsel-Powell has agreed to a Spanish-language debate with Congressman Curbelo this month on Telemundo, the highest-rated Spanish-language network in the country, as well as an English-language debate set for October 21 with Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg on WPLG-10, which has been on the books for weeks. Mucarsel-Powell has also accepted an invitation to debate Curbelo on Caracol Radio with host Mario Andrés Moreno, but the congressman has yet to settle on a date for that face-off.

Additionally, Mucarsel-Powell has already faced Congressman Curbelo in two previous forums, one in Key West and another in Marathon, both within the last month. In case the congressman has forgotten, he (and voters) can access the full video of both of these head-to-head forums online:

  • Hometown! Forum in Key West (Sept. 17): link

  • Marathon Chamber of Commerce Forum (Oct. 1): link

Finally, as a reminder, Curbelo’s campaign began its name-calling campaign after four consecutive polls showed Mucarsel-Powell closing the gap on her opponent, with three of those polls showing her ahead by one or two points, all within the margin of error:

  • She led Curbelo 50-48 in a poll conducted last week for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm, the first poll this cycle with a candidate in this district at 50%;
  • She led Curbelo by one point, 49-48, in a survey of 500 likely voters released this week by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research;
  • A similar survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed Mucarsel-Powell leading Curbelo by one point, 45-44;
  • And an earlier poll commissioned by the New York Times showed Curbelo at 47-44, with 9% undecided.
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Sierra Club Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami, FL – The Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in her race to unseat Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo, citing Mucarsel-Powell’s work at the Coral Restoration Foundation and her commitment to taking real steps to fight climate change.

“We are pleased to announce today that the Sierra Club officially endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for election,” said David Harbeitner, Sierra Club Florida’s political chairman. “We are confident that she will work to protect Florida families’ health, air and water, and build a clean energy economy that works for Floridians.”

“We are deeply grateful to Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for her years of work restoring coral reefs in South Florida waters, and supporting novel efforts to grow corals in nurseries and replanting them in coral reefs. This has made her a witness to the adverse effects of climate change on our ocean environment. The current crisis in our Florida waters is an issue that Debbie will be ready to work on as soon as she is sworn in,” said Sierra Club’s Kent Harrison Robbins. “She is a true environmental champion who will fight to protect Florida’s clean air, clean water, our climate and natural treasures.”

Last week, Mucarsel-Powell also earned the support of Climate Hawks Vote, a national grassroots organization that advocates for environmental champions. In its endorsement announcement, the group slammed Congressman Curbelo for voting in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and for taking $10,000 each in campaign contributions from Exxon and Chevron; $5,000 each from Valero and Marathon Petroleum; and $1,000 each from American Petroleum Institute and American Gas Association.

A spokesperson for Climate Hawks Vote also labeled Curbelo “the leader of the Climate Peacocks, a group that she described as “Republicans who strut and squawk and say they want to do something on climate change, but end up voting just like all the rest of the fossil-fueled Republicans whenever climate bills come up.”

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing South Florida. 

Mucarsel-Powell released an underwater digital ad this month that draws attention to Republicans’ environmental inaction on issues like red tide, the blue-green algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee, and the continued threat of sea-level rise. 

Last Thursday, on the same day that Miami-Dade County announced that its shores are being impacted by red tide, Mucarsel-Powell criticized Curbelo for taking nearly $80,000 in campaign contributions from Big Sugar, an industry that has exacerbated Florida’s urgent water problems.

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ICYMI: Fourth Poll Shows Mucarsel-Powell Gaining Ground In Florida’s 26th District

Miami– A new poll released this Friday shows Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District, is up by two points in her race against Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo. It’s the fourth recent poll to show her closing the gap on her opponent.

According to Roll Call reporter Simone Pathe, who first obtained a copy of the survey:

“Mucarsel-Powell led the incumbent 50 percent to 48 percent in the poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm. GBA Strategies surveyed 500 likely voters between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.”

Mucarsel-Powell has been aggressively working to show the clear contrast between herself and Curbelo. The result? Four consecutive polls showing Debbie gaining ground against her opponent a month before the election.

BACKGROUND:

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SAVE Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami – SAVE, the leading organization in South Florida dedicated to protecting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) against discrimination, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for the 2018 election.

“We applaud Debbie’s commitment to greater inclusion and representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and other queer individuals at all levels of public life,” said Tony Lima, executive director of SAVE. “We trust Debbie will champion some of our nation’s greatest ideals: that we are free to love who we love, and be who we are, and that we all deserve equal rights and protection under the law.”

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Mucarsel-Powell Slams Curbelo’s Ties To Big Sugar As Red Tide Reaches Miami-Dade’s Shore

MIAMI – As Miami-Dade County announced this Thursday that its shores are being impacted by red tide, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District, criticized her opponent Carlos Curbelo for taking nearly $80,000 in campaign contributions from Big Sugar, an industry that has exacerbated Florida’s urgent water problems.

Big Sugar has had a big role in creating the toxic blooms impacting Florida’s waterways, and has been singled out as a suspected catalyst for the red tide on both of our coasts, as well as a cause of the slimy, blue-green algae currently covering Lake Okeechobee and killing thousands of fish and other wildlife. 

The sugar industry is “causing some of these blooms through pollution,” according to Axios, and by “prevent[ing] the natural trickling and filtering of overflow [water] through the Everglades,” according to National Geographic

However, that hasn’t stopped Congressman Curbelo from taking $78,400 from Big Sugar. It also didn’t stop him from voting this year against an amendment that would have reformed the subsidies that the sugar industry receives from the government.

And it’s not just Big Sugar; Curbelo has taken $10,000 each from Exxon and Chevron; $5,000 each from Valero and Marathon Petroleum; and $1,000 each from American Petroleum Institute and American Gas Association.

“Congressman Curbelo has made plenty of empty promises about defending our environment,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “But his continuous inaction is all the more alarming when you look at the industries that are backing his campaign.

 Mucarsel-Powell also released a new digital ad Thursday drawing attention to Republicans’ environmental inaction.

“Our water, our reef and our environment are in danger, and Republicans have done nothing about it,” the 30-second spot says.

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BACKGROUND:

Sugar Farms Prevented The Natural Filtering Of Lake Water Through The Everglades. “To make matters worse, Florida isn’t just suffering from red tide. The inland waterways are clogged with yet another bloom of vibrant green cyanobacteria. […] Development and sugar farms south of the lake prevent the natural trickling and filtering of overflow through the Everglades.” [National Geographic, 8/7/18]

 

The Sugar Industry Could Be Causing Red Tide Blooms Through Pollution. “This red tide bloom is the worst in over a decade, and it’s become a major issue in the hotly contested Senate race between Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott and incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. Some people suspect the state’s agricultural interests, such as the sugar industry, are causing some of these blooms through pollution.” [Axios, 8/7/18]

 

Cane Fields Infected Two Rivers, And South Florida’s Coastline, With Toxic Algae. “For 6,000 years, excess groundwater has spilled over the southern rim of the lake, nourishing the Everglades before draining into the Florida Bay. To make way for the cane fields, engineers raised and fortified the lake’s southern shore, funneling all that excess groundwater through an array of canals, levees and pumping stations into two rivers that then dump it into the sea along Florida’s east and west coasts. This cleared the way for the cane fields, but choked off water to the rest of the Everglades. It also infected the two rivers and South Florida’s coastlines with toxic algae.” [Weather Channel, 12/8/16]

 

To Spare Cane Fields, The Army Corps Of Engineers Sent Billions Of Gallons Of Lake Water Into The Ocean, “Coating The Shore In Slime.” “So the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with an eye on the rising lake, reduced the risk by opening sluice gates and sending billions of gallons of lake water a day cascading east and west through the network of canals and rivers into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The dike was spared, as were the sugar cane fields and people who work and live around them. But along the Atlantic coast, the lake’s fertilizer-infused water spawned giant plumes of toxic algae, turning the ocean the color of coffee and coating the shore in slime. The fouling of the ocean was an ecological and economic calamity for South Florida’s Treasure Coast, coming as it did during the height of the winter tourist season.” [Weather Channel, 12/8/16]

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New Poll Shows Mucarsel-Powell Continues to Surge

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District, has surged among likely voters and is statistically tied with her opponent Carlos Curbelo, according to a new poll released this Tuesday by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

In the survey, which included 500 likely voters, Mucarsel-Powell leads Curbelo by one point, 49-48. It’s the third recent poll that shows how support for the Democrat has grown over the past months, as voters hear her story and the harm Congressman Curbelo has done to South Florida.

Mucarsel-Powell has been aggressively working to show the clear contrast between herself and Curbelo. And it’s working. A recent survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP) showed Mucarsel-Powell leading Curbelo, a two-term congressman, by one point (45-44). Similarly, a recent poll commissioned by the New York Times showed both candidates in a statistical tie.

Below is the poll memo released this Tuesday by Greeberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

October 2, 2018

Close race in Florida’s 26th Congressional District 

To: Interested Parties

From: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research

A recent survey of likely voters in Florida’s 26th Congressional District1 finds Debbie Mucarsel- Powell in a statistical tie with Carlos Curbelo ( 49 percent Mucarsel-Powell – 48 percent Curbelo).

The political environment is favorable towards a Democrat in this district that Clinton won by 16 percentage points. More than half (53 percent) of voters feel the country has gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track, and 57 percent have an unfavorable view of President Trump.

As this poll and other polls recently released show, support for Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has grown from the mid-summer.

Just under half (49 percent) of voters recognize Mucarsel-Powell, up from 22 percent in July. Among those who know her, she is seen much more favorably (32 percent favorable – 18 percent unfavorable). Voters like Mucarsel-Powell as they get to know her, and support for her grows. As voters learn more about Carlos Curbelo they become more unfavorable towards him (29 percent unfavorable in July, 40 percent in September). With room to continue introducing herself to voters and her growing level of support, Mucarsel-Powell is in an excellent position to win this race.

“I’ve been working on behalf of my community for over 20 years, and families here can trust I’ll be a genuine voice for them in Washington on the most important issues, like health care, jobs and the environment, Mucarsel-Powell said. Residents here know that it’s not enough to say you stand with this community. They’re ready for someone with the courage to truly fight for them.

Curbelo, who is one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in the country, has tried to paint himself as a moderate in Congress. But his record that is anything but moderate. Here are just a few of Curbelo’s lowlights:

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Climate Hawks Vote Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami, FL – Climate Hawks Vote, a national grassroots organization that advocates for environmental champions who will advance policies to address climate change, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell for the 2018 election.

“The world is warming faster than Republicans are warming up to believing in climate change,” said RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote. “The ice sheets can’t wait for Republicans to come around to accepting basic science, then debating possible solutions, and only then begin to discuss the possibility of a bipartisan bill. We have to vote them out instead.

“Carlos Curbelo tries to have it both ways. He introduced a carbon tax bill, HR 6463, which has attracted a grand total of two cosponsors. He stands up against oil drilling off the Florida coast–but he’s voted for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He’s happy to accept oil money–$10,000 each from Exxon and Chevron, $5,000 each from Valero and Marathon Petroleum, $1,000 each from American Petroleum Institute and American Gas Association, in 2017-18 alone.

“Curbelo is just another climate peacock, strutting and squawking and then voting with Donald Trump 83 percent of the time,” Miller added.

Mucarsel-Powell, who previously worked at the Coral Restoration Foundation, made a pledge not to take money from the fossil fuel industry for her congressional campaign. She has also rejected the money of U.S. Sugar, which earned her the endorsement of the local grassroots group Bullsugar.

“As we move into the next stage in the urgent fight against climate change, I am honored to stand with Climate Hawks Vote and the members of my community who demand less empty talk and more concrete action to protect our coasts and our environment,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

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