The front-runner in the GOP primary for a South Florida congressional seat has secured the blessing of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Romney, who ran for president in 2012, has endorsed Carlos Curbelo, a Miami-Dade school board member who is running in the Aug. 26 primary to represent his party in the fall against Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Garcia.
"I am proud to stand with Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative leader who will work hard to reform our government, balance the budget, and improve the quality of life for the people of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties,” said Romney, according to The Hill.
“As an education reformer, Carlos puts students first. In Washington, he will put his community and our country first.,” he said. “I urge my friends in Florida's 26th Congressional District to vote for Carlos Curbelo.”
Romney has turned out to be something of a good luck charm for candidates he backs. All of the candidates he has endorsed have won, The Hill notes.
The incumbent, Garcia, ousted former Rep. David Rivera in 2012. Rivera, a Republican, was dogged by allegations that he financed a candidate in the 2010 Democratic primary to run against Garcia, who ran against him then and lost. Rivera has been the target of other federal investigations regarding election-related improprieties.
Among Curbelo’s opponents is Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, who casts Curbelo as a Democrat at heart.
The Miami Herald noted: “In both a flier and a radio ad in Spanish, MacDougall portrays Curbelo as a defender of the Affordable Care Act, the law pushed by Democrats and President Barack Obama.”