US Rep. Carlos Curbelo, Joe Garcia face off at Local 10 News

Congressional race rated a toss-up in recent polls

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – One of the most hotly-contested congressional races is between Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic challenger Joe Garcia. The two candidates visited Local 10 News on Friday for a debate.  

This debate started out calmly, even courteously, but it soon turned into a verbal donnybrook.

"I respect women and you don't," Curbelo said.

Curbelo and Garcia disagreed on just about everything when they squared off.

"Everything he just said is completely false," Garcia said.

The heated exchange was over secretly-recorded remarks that Garcia made about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

"You know what you said about Hillary Clinton," Curbelo said. "First of all, you said she was stupid because you said she can't out-think, because you think very highly of yourself. Secondly, you said that you wouldn't want to have sex with her. That she wouldn’t be able to seduce you."

"I was talking to a guy. It's stupid. There's no question about it," Garcia said. "I said it because I was speaking to a guy who was saying sexist things about her. That's why I stopped him when he was saying that."

At stake is the job representing the 26th congressional district. The district from Westchester to Key West is slightly Democratic and heavily Hispanic.

The congressional race is rated a toss-up in the most recent polls.

You can watch the entire debate between Curbelo and Garcia at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on "This Week in South Florida."

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