2/11/10

Lincoln Diaz-Balart retires. [FL-21]

One of the last big names in Miami politics made a huge splash today. Lincoln Diaz-Balart retired today setting off a huge domino effect in Republican ranks.

Here's the National Journal's take on it:

The district is heavily Hispanic, thanks to Miami's large Cuban population. 73% of district residents call themselves Hispanic, while just 16% are white. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) won a narrow 51%-49% victory in the seat.
The reaction from his brother came fast, saying that he'd run to replace Lincoln. But it is the Washington Post that gives us the first part of a nice little scoop:

Mario Diaz-Balart announced this afternoon that he will run for his brother's now open seat, vacating his 25th district -- a seat where McCain won only 50 percent in 2008 and where Mario Diaz-Balart won only 53 percent against Miami-Dade County Democratic Chairman Joe Garcia.

Garcia is reportedly interested in running again and would give Democrats a genuine pickup opportunity in the 25th if he did decide to make the contest. One complicating factor for Garcia is that he is currently working in an appointed post in the Obama Administration. Another Democrat mentioned is Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson who recently announced she would not seek re-election to her current post.

If Mario Diaz-Balart does leave the 25th, Republicans may well look to state Rep. David Rivera whose current state House seat shares significant population with the U.S. House seat.

Mario apparently called it a "natural move" because he had represented the communities in the district before and because there would be redistricting in two years. I used to think it was natural to run for re-election in the district you already represent, especially if you're running unopposed, but I guess that's not true if your poll numbers are slipping and there's something more politically convenient. His brother spoke of honor at representing the 21st district, but apparently the 25th, not so much.

But anyways the Herald continues:

Joe Garcia is in Washington for the Obama administration as Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact at the Department of Energy -- but friends say it may be inticing for him to be up here as a member of Congress.

Giancarlo Sopo, a political analyst at Bendixen & Amandi in Miami and a former advisor to Garcia's 2008 congressional campaign, says he hasn't talked to Garcia -- but says he wouldn't be surprised if Garcia was being recruited to run again for the district now held by Mario Diaz-Balart -- who is likely to move over to the more Republican-leaning congressional district being vacated by his brother.

"Mario's being run out of the district because it's changing," Sopo said.

Garcia gave Mario Diaz-Balart the strongest challenge of his congressional life in 2008, coming within a few points of winning the seat.

Well, it seems to me that if the DCCC ponied up some cash, say 2 Million (or more not less), split it among all three congressional raises, you'd be able to get Garcia (whom I love) or Katy Sorenson to run in the 25th, in the 21st I've heard two or three names but a decent candidate with a good amount of fund-raising would be needed, though not necessarily a Hispanic, and someone (Taddeo or even Shriver?) in the 18th and you could give the local GOP a heart attack and win 1 or 2 of the seats.

Step up DCCC, FDP, and Miami-Dade DEC.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Blue In Miami,

I just have a quick question for you but couldn't find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger and the owner of the mahablog. Please email me back at barbaraobrien@maacenter.org when you get a chance. Thanks.

Barbara

Anonymous said...

Raises? Don't you mean races?

Colin said...

Miami - Can I email you?

Miamian Blues said...

My email is blueinmiami@gmail.com feel free to email me.

Change for Harlem said...

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www.VoteMoise.com

Grillo said...

National Journal says that 73% of district residents call themselves Hispanic while 16% are white. Don't these people know that Hispanic and white are not mutually exclusive? Hispanic is an ethnic classification, white is a racial classification. As a matter of fact, I am both Cuban and white.