Diaz-Balart pushes back challenge in Florida's 25th District

Wasserman Schultz, Deutch cruise to easy victories in respective districts

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart greets supporters at a campaign party in Hialeah.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart greets supporters at a campaign party in Hialeah.

HIALEAH, Fla. – Veteran U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart was re-elected Tuesday, pushing back a challenge by former Judge Mary Barzee Flores in Florida's 25th Congressional District.

Elected in 2002, Diaz-Balart​​​​​, a Miami-Dade County Republican, hasn't seen a serious re-election challenge in 10 years. Barzee Flores was buoyed by a surge in enthusiasm among Democratic voters nationwide, but it wasn't enough to unseat the popular congressman, who represents western suburbs of Miami and parts of Collier and Hendry counties.

“What I have always based my campaigns on is -- while there’s so much noise and there’s so much bickering and so much divisiveness in our country -- to try to bring people together. You do that not by complaining, not by pointing fingers but by working in a bipartisan way to get big things done," Diaz-Balart said.

Diaz-Balart said his priorities heading into his ninth term in the house are building up the military, strengthening the economy, but he specifically talked about helping immigrants who he said deserve a legal status but don’t have one under the current immigration system.

Meanwhile, in Florida's 23rd Congressional District, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat, was easily re-elected over Republican Joe Kaufman, a counterterrorism researcher.

And in Florida's 22nd Congressional District, Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, defeated Republican Nicolas Kimaz, a naturopathic healer.

The rest of South Florida's Congressional delegation -- Democratic Reps. Alcee Hastings, Frederica Wilson and Lois Frankel -- ran unopposed.


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