Florida Politics: “Debbie Mucarsel-Powell adds $500K for CD 26 campaign”

Democratic candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell announced Tuesday that her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th Congressional District brought in more than $500,000 during the first three months of the year.

“I am extremely grateful for the ongoing support we’ve received from the 26th district and across Florida,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Congressman Curbelo’s values do not align with our community: from voting to rip away health care from millions of Americans; to breaking his promise to DREAMers; to voting with Paul Ryan and Republican leadership 84 percent of the time.

“It is clear families across South Florida are ready for change and with our coalition of supporters, we will take back this seat for the people of Florida in November.”

The campaign finance report is not yet available through the Federal Elections Commission, but the campaign said the Q1 performance brings Mucarsel-Powell to more than $920,000 raised with more than $700,000 cash on hand. The haul also comes in higher than former any quarterly finance report filed by 2016 Democratic candidates Annette Taddeo or former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, the 2016 nominee who held the seat from 2013 to 2015.

The release also said Mucarsel-Powell, a first-generation American, has received more than 3,500 individual contributions since she entered the race in August.

Through the end of 2017, the campaign had raised a total of $416,000 and had $316,000 on hand. Based on the details included in the release, campaign spending likely fell in the $100,000 to $125,000 range for the quarter.

It’s unknown whether Mucarsel-Powell’s solid fundraising was enough to put a dent in Curbelo’s massive campaign finance lead.

The incumbent Republican has not previewed his first-quarter numbers, though he finished 2017 with $2.25 million raised and nearly $1.7 million on hand in his campaign account.

CD 26 is near the top of the Democratic Party’s wish list for 2018.

The party is aiming for flips in other seats, such as CD 18, which flipped to Republican last cycle. Quality candidates have filed for formerly longshot districts, too. CD 26, however, is the most likely pick outside of neighboring CD 27, where longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is not running for re-election.

CD 26 is one of just 23 seats nationwide that simultaneously voted for Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket and a Republican for Congress. Clinton won the South Florida seat by 16 points, while Curbelo defeated former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia by 12 points.

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