Curbelo, Mucarsel-Powell spar in only English-language debate

South Florida congressional candidates locked in tight race

By Elsa Bolt - Executive Producer

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell faced off in their one and only English-language debate on "This Week in South Florida" Sunday.

Curbello and Mucarsel-Powell, a former college administrator, are locked in a tight race to represent Florida's 26th Congressional District, which spans from Key West to southern Miami-Dade County. 

Curbelo and Mucarsel-Powell tackled several hot-button issues, including immigration, taxes and gun reform. Mucarsel-Powell has spoken on the campaign trail about how her father was a victim of gun violence.

"I've been talking about this issue for years, not just now that I'm campaigning. As you know, it's a very personal issue for me and what I've seen from this Congress member is that he's taken thousands from the NRA -- the NRA actually spent more than $60,000 to help him get elected. He voted against universal background checks which 94 percent of Americans agree that we need to start with that."

Curbelo, a supporter of background checks, said his position as a moderate has helped issues like gun control move forward.

"Everytown USA, the most prominent gun safety organization in the country is endorsing me in this race, not my opponent. Fred and Maria Jose Wright, the parents of Jerry Wright, the young man who was murdered in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, they are supporting me. Why? Because we have worked together to bridge the partisan gap on this issue," Curbelo said. 

 

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