Could a blue wave wash Carlos Curbelo out of Congress?

Incumbent faces challenge from Mucarsel-Powell in 26th Congressional District

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - The race in Florida's 26th Congressional District is a tight one.

Republican Carlos Curbelo is the incumbent congressman in this swingiest of swing districts. 

"Every day I've worked to bridge that gap," Curbelo said.

Former university administrator Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is challenging him with a Democratic platform including stronger gun laws and backing the Affordable Care Act.

"When Congressman Curbelo took that vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act to take away health care for more than 100,000 families living in District 26 that was the moment I knew I had to step in," Mucarsel Powelll said.

"I think anyone who defends the status quo of health care in this district is making a big mistake," Curbelo said. "Our health care system is unsustainable."

Health care is a big issue in a district with some 90,000 enrolled in what is informally known as "Obamacare."

In a district that spans from southwest Miami-Dade County to the Florida Keys, climate change and immigration reform are also major issues.

They are issues that Curbelo has said he has taken the lead on, but Mucarsel-Powell said she can do better. 

"When we need him the most he caves," Mucarsel-Powell said.

In the latest Mason-Dixon poll, Curbelo leads by only 1 percentage point -- if you buy into polls, this race is a toss-up.

Both campaigns are getting national money and attention, a sign that the South Florida congressional seat could help determine which party controls the House in January.

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