MIAMI – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced Thursday that he is running for Congress.
On his new Twitter account for his campaign, the Republican mayor welcomed President Donald Trump to South Florida and announced that he would be running for Florida’s 26th Congressional District, which includes Key West, Key Largo, Marathon and a portion of southwest Miami-Dade County.
Welcome to Miami @realDonaldTrump. Thank you for all you’ve done for our economy & to fight socialism. I look forward to standing w/ you against the radical left who are determined to turn the U.S. into Venezuela. I'm running! Join the #FL26 fight here >> https://t.co/cqWw2P8vcV— Carlos Gimenez for Congress (@CarlosGimenezFL) January 23, 2020
The president retweeted Gimenez, saying he would see him soon.
Gimenez was on the tarmac at Miami International Airport later in the afternoon, awaiting Trump’s arrival, along with Miami-Dade County Commissioners Esteban Bovo and Jose “Pepe” Diaz.
“I welcome Carlos to the race and I look forward to debating him. I know that Republican voters will want to learn how a person who endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, and wanted to leave the Republican party in 2014 will have the conviction to defend the policies that are vital for the prosperity of our country and our community," fellow congressional candidate Irina Vilariño said in a statement. "I welcome the opportunity to contrast my record of creating jobs in the private sector and defending conservative principles with Gimenez’s record of double dipping government pensions, cronyism and corruption. People are tired of career politicians who are constantly on the prowl for the next taxpayer-funded gig. Now, more than ever, Congress needs members who will effect change and fight with conviction – not politicians looking to grow their government pensions and expand their insider relationships.
"What’s worse is that time and time again -- from Odebrecht to China dealings to cruise ships to Cuba -- Carlos Gimenez has betrayed our community and our principles. We will be sharing my ideas and vision with Republican voters and have no doubt that when they have the opportunity to compare, they will conclude that I am best suited to defeat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November.”
Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat, unseated Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo on Jan. 3, 2019.