Florida’s 25th Congressional District – UPDATED

In the closest race of the three we were watching here in South Florida, Mario Diaz-Balart proved wrong those that believed GOP support among Cuban-Americans was waning. He obtained 52.8% of the vote (127,060) compared to 47.2% for Joe “the fro” Garcia (113,495). This is remarkable for several reasons:

1. In 2006, a virtually unknown Democrat named Michael Calderin obtained 41.5% of the district’s vote after spending a paltry $30,000 on his campaign.
2. Joe Garcia has much more name recognition in South Florida, he was the chairman of the county’s Democrat party as well executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation.
3. Joe Garcia raised almost $1.5 million dollars on this race.
4. The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee spent significant sums as well targeting Mario’s seat.

In other words they gave Mario their best shot and still it was not enough. He won by 13,500 votes.
The Democrats tried a faulty strategy of tying the Diaz-Balart brothers to President Bush. That only works on the die-hard Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents, the type of people that were going to vote for Garcia anyway. If Garcia were really trying to capture Cuban-American votes he would have avoided that argument.
Also I spoke with a Garcia campaign insider that said that the rednecks in Collier county (which makes up a small part of the district) would not vote for spic like Mario Diaz-Balart. When I countered that Garcia is every bit the spic that Mario is, he said that the rednecks would stay home. They didn’t stay home. They actually gave Mario slightly greater percentage of their votes than the folks in Miami-Dade County.
Another faulty strategy in this race was an attempt to “take the Cuba issue of the table”. That’s the actual language that was used on an invitation to a Garcia fundraiser in New York. You see, Garcia and his cohorts believed that we would be the Trojan horse that would allow for a Democrat victory based on his time at CANF. The truth is that Cubans that care about Cuba (not all of them do, I admit) abandoned CANF when it abandoned them. A poll conducted for Telemundo in October showed Mario leading Joe Garcia 2-1 among Cubans.
Not only that, the strategy was incoherent. On the one hand you had Joe saying that Mario Diaz-Balart was a one-trick pony that didn’t care about anything talking about Cuba while at the same time saying that he (Garcia) has had more debates with Charles Rangel (Garcia’s castro-loving fundraising pal) than Mario. You can’t have it both ways.
And lastly, Joe Garcia was a carpetbagger. He lives very, very far from the district he wanted to represent. The local media made no attempt to reveal that about him. People in wester Miami-Dade didn’t buy his Miami-Beach Spiel.

4 thoughts on “Florida’s 25th Congressional District – UPDATED”

  1. And don’t forget the e-mails requesting donations from County employees that he sent out and the one also sent out by the Democratic Party of Miami-Dade County. None of his tricks worked.

  2. Henry,
    The thing that these rednecks respect from us is our anti-Communist credentials; this may be what tipped their votes to Mario’s side.

  3. Joe Garcia ate a tremendous embalmed turd (Se comio tremendo mojon embalsamado). He must be burping it up by now. Bon appetite.

  4. The Garcia insider’s comment about Collier County “rednecks” just shows how incredibly shallow and arrogant he is. As someone who often travels to that part of Collier County (it’s not Naples itself, but more the areas around Golden Gate that border the Everglades), I can tell you that most of the folks who live out three are middle class, semi-rural folks, many of them of either Midwestern or old-Florida roots, and largely conservative.
    Garcia deserved to lose, plain and simple.

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