Florida Democrats shy away from contested congressional races for now

Democrats have yet to announce who will be running for two of Florida’s most competitive House seats in November.

MIAMI – Democrats have yet to announce who will be running against the Miami-Dade County Republican incumbents of two of Florida’s most competitive House seats.

Debbie Mucarse-Powell, who served as a U.S. representative for Florida’s 26th congressional district from 2019 to 2021, said she decided to rule out a rematch with Rep. Carlos Giménez.

The former Democratic congresswoman, who was born in Ecuador, lost to the former Cuban-American mayor of Miami-Dade County by 3.4 percentage points in 2020.

“I loved, loved representing Florida’s 26th district ... It has been the best work I have ever done, and I may go back, but just not right now,” Mucarse-Powell said adding, “My commitment is here. I am not going anywhere ... and I am going to do a lot of work to make sure we move our state in the right direction.”

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz said he has been working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, or DCCC, a political committee that supports candidates. He also said that there are people who want to run against Giménez and Salazar in November nd he expects them to come forward when the Florida legislative session adjourns March 11.

“There will be credible candidates running in both of those seats,” Diaz said.

Donna Shalala, who served as a U.S. representative for Florida’s 27th congressional district from 2019 to 2021, has yet to make an announcement about whether or not she plans to run against Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar. The former Cuban-American journalist won by 6 percentage points in 2020.

The National Republican Congressional Committee released the key takeaways of a new Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 survey by Meeting Street Insights showing Democrats are losing ground in 47 battleground districts with large populations of Hispanic voters.

One of the survey’s takeaways: “When asked which party is better able to protect the American Dream, Republicans lead Democrats by a 41% to 35% margin.

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About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.