In Key West Forum, Mucarsel-Powell Blasts Curbelo for Voting Against Florida Families on Healthcare, Taxes, and the Environment

KEY WEST – Democratic candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell tonight faced off against Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo at the Hometown! Key West Candidate Forum.  Mucarsel-Powell delivered a winning performance, taking the incumbent to task for his votes to strip more than 100,000 Floridians of healthcare and protections for pre-existing conditions, and to give himself and his wealthy donors huge tax handouts at the expense of working families. Mucarsel-Powell, who previously worked at the Coral Restoration Foundation, also called out Curbelo for voting time and time again to dismantle safeguards meant to protect our environment.

“It’s time we hold Carlos Curbelo accountable for constantly saying one thing to the people of this community and then voting the opposite way when he’s back in Washington,” said Debbie Murcarsel-Powell, candidate for Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “Whether it’s on healthcare, taxes, women’s rights, or the environment, Curbelo has demonstrated that when push comes to shove, he’ll side with Trump and Washington Republicans to vote against South Florida families. Unlike Curbelo, I’ll always fight for what matters to South Florida and give this community a real voice in Congress.”

Curbelo, who represents a district that Hillary Clinton won by 16 points in 2016, is one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in the country. And while Curbelo has tried to paint himself as a moderate in South Florida, his record shows that is far from the truth.

Here are just a few of the lowlights:

###

Miami Herald: NYT “live poll” shows Mucarsel-Powell closing in on Curbelo

The New York Times conducted a “live poll” in Curbelo’s district, where readers could see in real-time how many calls were being made and where voters were responding to the poll within the district. After four days of thousands of calls, Curbelo emerged with a three percentage point lead over Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a result that is within the poll’s five-point margin of error.
The poll, conducted via phone from September 13 to 17, called 509 voters in Curbelo’s Miami-to-Key West district which he has represented since 2015. Curbelo finished with 47 percent support and Mucarsel-Powell picked up 44 percent of support with nine percent of voters being undecided.
The poll comes a month after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released polling that showed Mucarsel-Powell trailing Curbelo by a larger margin than a poll conducted months earlier, suggesting that the Democrat who ran for state Senate had work to do to make the race more competitive.
“This race has tightened considerably. The more voters get to know Debbie, the more the wind is at her back,” said Melvin Felix, a spokesperson for the Mucarsel-Powell campaign. “Curbelo voted with his party in Congress to take healthcare away from more than 100,000 people in this district. The more that voters get to know Debbie, the stronger she’ll be in November.”
Curbelo maintains a fundraising advantage over Mucarsel-Powell and outside groups are expected to invest heavily in the race. Most of the election prognosticators rate the race as a toss up or slightly in favor of Curbelo after Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump by more than 14 percentage points in the district.
Read the story here.

NYT Poll: Debbie Closing the Gap in Florida’s 26th District

MIAMI – Late last night, the New York Times live election poll completed its calls in Florida’s 26th Congressional District and showed a race that has tightened considerably in Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s favor, with Carlos Curbelo now only holding a slim 47-44 lead, well within the margin of error. This result comes even as voters hold a clear opinion of Congressman Curbelo, but continue to get to know Debbie. A majority of voters also reported they would prefer Democrats to take control of the U.S. House.

“This race has tightened considerably. The more voters get to know Debbie, the more the wind is at her back,” said Melvin Felix, a spokesperson for the Mucarsel-Powell campaign. “That’s because voters are rejecting the agenda of Congressman Curbelo and other Washington Republicans. Curbelo voted with his party in Congress to take healthcare away from more than 100,000 people in this district. Like so many others in Florida, Debbie arrived in this country as an immigrant from Latin America and worked her way up to have a chance at the American dream. She will fight for families with the same goals, and she won’t sell them out to a political party in Washington. The more that voters get to know Debbie, the stronger she’ll be in November.”

This poll was part of a series commissioned by the New York Times to cover the races in some of the most competitive congressional districts across the country. Unlike other similar surveys, poll responses were published and displayed in real time, allowing readers to track results from start to finish.

The New York Times poll in Florida’s 26th Congressional District was conducted between Sept. 13 and Sept. 17. A total of 509 surveys were completed after 46,010 dials were attempted to phones in the district. The margin of error is ±5. To view the complete poll results, click here.

Most experts have pointed to Curbelo as one of the most endangered incumbents in the country. In a July poll that was completed before any paid advertising, Mucarsel-Powell was initially within seven points of the congressman, and later statistically tied with him after respondents were informed about her background and policy agenda.

###

Florida AFL-CIO Endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami – The Florida AFL-CIO, which represents over a million union members, retirees, and their family members and has fought for decades to create better conditions for workers in the state, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

“South Florida workers need a new leader who will fight to fix an economy that has been rigged for the wealthy, and to put the issues that affect workers everyday first,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, President of the South Florida AFL-CIO. “Debbie understands that workers need access to more affordable healthcare, good paying jobs and a fully funded public education system. South Florida’s union members are ready to take that message to their union halls and the ballot box this November.”

“We need to make our economy work for everyone, and that starts by supporting the workers who have built our state and made our country what it is today,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. “I’m incredibly grateful to the Florida AFL-CIO for their support and I proudly commit to standing up for workers’ rights in Washington.”

###

MIAMI HERALD: Miami Democrats protest to remove gun show from fairgrounds

On the first weekend of their general election campaigns, a coalition of Democratic candidates running for state and federal office huddled on a blistering street corner in Miami with their sights set on a familiar target: firearms.

A spate of school shootings across the nation in recent months, and the activism that emerged from South Florida after 17 students and educators were killed at a Parkland high school on Valentine’s Day, reignited the issue of guns in America as Democrats push to flip Tallahassee and Washington.

And on Saturday, with one of the largest gun shows looming behind them, the Democrats stood with a small group of protesters and campaign staff on the corner of Southwest 107th Avenue and Coral Way, near the entrance to the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair.

It was an attempt, they said, to pressure the county fairgrounds into divesting from Florida Gun Shows, a statewide operation that has held its weapons expos on the site for more than three decades, according to its owner.

But the candidates used the gun-show rally as an opportunity to launch into their platforms against gun violence, which include restricting the sale of semi-automatic long guns.

“I find it extremely ironic that the county fair, where we bring children to the fair, is right now hosting a gun show,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat running against incumbent Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. “If the Republicans in Congress like Curbelo are not willing to take a stance, to have the political will and courage to do the right thing to keep our community safe, then we need to change Congress, and that’s why I’m here today.”

Read the entire story here.

ICYMI: Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Stands With Workers Protesting at MIA Airport

Miami, FL – At a protest organized last Thursday by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at the Miami International Airport, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell stood with union workers who demanded better wages and conditions for airline employees.

“Many mothers have told me that they have to keep two jobs to pay their bills,” Mucarsel-Powell said in Spanish to América TeVé Noticias. “They cant pay for medical services; they can’t pay for their kids’ education or for school supplies. That’s why I’m here to support workers.”

Mucarsel-Powell, who is seeking to unseat Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th Congressional District, has focused her campaign on creating an economy that works for everyone, which includes protecting workers and raising wages for hardworking families.

She has criticized Rep. Curbelo for helping draft and pass the Republican tax bill last year, giving massive handouts to corporations while leaving behind workers.

Watch the full clip from América TeVé Noticias here.

###

Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01) endorses Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Miami, FL – Congressman David Cicilline, who represents Rhode Islands 1st Congressional District and introduced a bill this year to ban the sale of assault weapons, has endorsed Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District:

“I’m proud to support Debbie because I know she’s a fighter,” said Rep. David Cicilline, Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. “She’s tough, she knows how to get things done, and she’s the kind of representative we need in Congress to help solve our nation’s most pressing problems. I look forward to working with Debbie to bring an end to gun violence in our country, to protect the people who need it most, and to ensure our government stands for all Americans.”

“I’m so excited to have Congressman Cicilline’s support, and I commend him for boldly leading the way in Congress against gun violence,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. “I look forward to working with him to finally ban assault weapons in our streets and make sure we’re doing all we can to protect our children’s safety.”

Background: Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) has refused to sign on to Rep. Cicillines Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (H.R. 5087), which would prohibit the sale, transfer, production, and importation of semi-automatic, military-style rifles and pistols that can accept a detachable magazine, as well as semi-automatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds; semi-automatic shotguns with a military-style feature; any ammunition feeding device that can hold more than 10 rounds; and more than 200 specifically-named and listed firearms.

The bill currently has 176 cosponsors.

###

HELLO GIGGLES: “Debbie Mucarsel-Powell lost her father to gun violence, and now she’s fighting for a better America”

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, born in Ecuador, immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager with her mother and three sisters seeking the “American Dream.” Now, she’s in the running for a seat in Congress. At the top of her list? Tackling gun violenceimmigration reformclimate changeaffordable health care, supporting women’s rights and representation in politics, and ensuring all working families have the opportunity to get ahead in the U.S.

Before the highs, though, she went through her fair share of lows. At age 24, Mucarsel-Powell lost her father to gun violence, so that issue hits close to home.

“He never walked me down the aisle. My children never met their grandfather. My sisters and I never had the chance to say goodbye,” Mucarsel-Powell recounted in an advertisement that ran during the nationwide March for Our Lives demonstrations earlier this year in March.

“In Congress,” she added during the advertisement, “I won’t rest until there’s real change that keeps our families, our neighborhoods, and our schools safe. I owe that to everyone who has lost someone to gun violence.”

In addition to opening up about her personal experience with gun violence, Mucarsel-Powell is adamant about the ways she wants us as a country, and elected officials in Washington D.C., to not only think about gun violence but actually take the necessary steps toward gun reform.

Read the full interview here.

Statement on Primary Election Result

Miami, FL – After winning the Democratic primary in Florida’s 26th Congressional District this Tuesday, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell released the following statement:

“First, I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make tonight a reality. This victory belongs to all of you.

“I joined this race over a year ago because our families are being left behind, and our values are being ignored by the Trump administration and by the Republican majority in Congress. Republicans like Carlos Curbelo have voted to take away health care from our communities, while giving handouts to the wealthiest Americans. They have done nothing to end gun violence in our country, while taking thousands of dollars from the NRA. This is not the way our country should be run. And our families deserve a representative who will be accountable to them, not their party or their donors.

“To that end, the next seventy days will be crucial. They will decide whether all the energy we’ve put into this campaign will turn into action, change and progress. They will decide whether we’ll finally be able to act on common-sense gun reform, sensible climate action and a real solution for DREAMers and immigrant families.

“And while it’s tempting to think a blue wave will carry all of us across the finish line, the reality is that we’ll have to earn every single vote in Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

“I’m more than ready for that challenge.”

###

“Primero quisiera agradecer a todas las personas que han trabajado tan arduamente para asegurar este resultado. Esta victoria le pertenece a todos ustedes.

“Me lancé a esta contienda hace más de un año porque sé que nuestras familias en Florida se están quedando atrás, y que nuestros valores están siendo ignorados por la administración de Trump y por la mayoría republicana en el Congreso. Republicanos como Carlos Curbelo han votado para eliminar el acceso médico en nuestras comunidades, mientras regalan recortes de impuestos a los estadounidenses más ricos. No han hecho nada para detener la violencia de armas en nuestro país, mientras siguen aceptando miles de dólares de la NRA. Esta no es la forma en que nuestro gobierno debe funcionar. Y nuestras familias merecen un representante que les responda a ellos, en vez de a su partido o a sus donantes.

“En los próximos setenta días, nuestro esfuerzo será crucial. Debemos asegurar que toda la energía que hemos invertido en esta campaña se convierta en acción, cambio y progreso. Ese esfuerzo decidirá si finalmente lograremos aprobar una reforma de armas, un plan para batallar el cambio climático y una solución real para los DREAMers y para las familias inmigrantes.

“Aunque es fácil asumir que una ola azul nos llevará a todos a nuestra meta, la realidad es que tendremos que trabajar por cada voto en el Distrito 26 de Florida.

“Estoy lista para ese desafío”.

###

Statement on Shooting in Jacksonville, Florida

Miami, FL – Debbie Mucarsel-Powell released the following statement after a gunman in Jacksonville, Florida, opened fire on a crowd on Sunday, killing and injuring several people during a video game tournament at the Jacksonville Landing (Spanish translation below):

“I’m deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy in Jacksonville. My heart goes out to the victims, survivors, and everyone affected by this shooting. As someone who lost her father to gun violence, I know the pain these victims’ families must be feeling. But families and victims deserve more than words of sympathy. They deserve action.

“Tragedies like these are all the more painful because we know they can be prevented. And to prevent them, we only need two things: political will and moral courage. There are common-sense policies we must enact now to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We have to put an end to this cycle of pain and bloodshed in our communities.”

###

“Estoy profundamente triste por la terrible tragedia en Jacksonville. Mis pensamientos están con las víctimas, con los sobrevivientes y con todos los afectados por este tiroteo. Yo perdí a mi padre en un ataque de violencia armada, y sé el dolor que deben sentir las familias de las víctimas. Pero estas familias y víctimas merecen algo más que palabras de simpatía. Ellos merecen acción.

“Estas tragedias se vuelven más dolorosas cuando sabemos que no hemos actuado para evitarlas. Y para evitarlas solo necesitamos dos cosas: voluntad política y valentía moral. Debemos aprobar reformas de sentido común para asegurar que las armas no caigan en las manos de personas peligrosas. Necesitamos acabar este ciclo de dolor y de sangre derramada en nuestras comunidades.”

###