Donald Trump

Mucarsel-Powell Beats Curbelo for District 26 Seat

The 26th District, which includes parts of southern Miami-Dade County and Monroe County, tends to be liberal and in the last two presidential elections voted decisively for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has ousted GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo from a House seat in Florida, switching it to the Democratic column.

Voters chose Mucarsel-Powell on Tuesday in the 26th District, which runs from south of Miami to Key West. Curbelo has represented the district since 2014. It has been trending more Democratic.

Mucarsel-Powell is originally from Ecuador. She sought to tie Curbelo closely to policies of President Donald Trump seen as unpopular in the district. She also stressed addressing gun violence with ads about her father's shooting death.

Mucarsel-Powell has worked for a number of nonprofit organizations in the Miami area and previously ran unsuccessfully for the Florida Senate.

While the 2018 midterm election has been divisive in Florida and throughout the country, Curbelo emphasized his bipartisanship and willingness to work with Democrats.

"For the country to win usually you need both parties to work together, otherwise the big solutions that we need will never get done," Curbelo told NBC 6 in August.

Mucarsel-Powell said she decided to run after watching Curbelo vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"I don't think there's anything moderate of voting to take away health care for more than 100,000 people in my community," she told NBC 6.

Mucarsel-Powell, who has worked as associate dean at the College of Medicine at Florida International University, has made health care her top priority. Health care is also a prominent issue for tens of thousands of people in the district, which did have the second-most enrollees in "Obamacare" as repeal was being debated, according to data compiled by the nonprofit health policy analysis and news outlet Kaiser Family Foundation.

Curbelo has said he supported some aspects of the law, such as keeping young people on their parents' plan until they're 26 and guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Mucarsel-Powell has said herself that there were issues with the ACA.

Mucarsel-Powell has also been critical of Curbelo's support of a tax reform bill, which she claims benefited the wealthy. Curbelo argued it would boost the economy and insisted his challenger is out of touch when it comes to tax reform, saying members of the community appreciate keeping more of their money in their pockets.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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