The blue bandwagon got heavier yesterday, in a little room at the West Kendall Best Western. Democratic party Chairman Joe Garcia took the stage with his wife and child amidst crashing chants of “Go, Joe, go!”
Garcia’s mother, Carmen, and father, Joe, sat beaming in the front row. “I’m happy and a little nervous,” Carmen said, shaking her hands.
“I’m a financial consultant,” Joe Senior added.
Joe Jr. is running against Mario Diaz-Balart to represent the 25th congressional district. According to Democratic old-timer Sid Gersh, the hope will be that voters opting for change in the presidential race will go straight down the Democratic slate – hurling Mario and his brother Lincoln into the vast neo-conservative dust bin.
“It’s no Shaq O'Neal,” Gersh conceded, from between his high-shouldered double-breasted blue suit.
Sometimes tearing from conviction, the graying Democratic Chairman adressed the crowd (in Spanish and English) with fire and gusto. Garcia opened by recalling the time that he informed his aging abuelito that he would enter public service following his graduation from High School.
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His grandfather, who mowed lawns at 60 following his flight from Castro’s regime, teared up. “[My grandfather] looked at me with tears welling up in his eyes,” Garcia explained. “That’s only for the lowest people in the society,” the old-timer told him.
Garcia said Cuba had done that to his grand dad. “We don’t want that for this society,” he clamored, pledging to help the long-neglected underdogs in a district that runs from Florida City to Naples and touches both coasts in the state.
Garcia pledged to become proactive in issues ranging from the rising cost of living to a neglected agricultural community. He vowed to help end the Iraq war and shift towards a focus on leadership and diplomacy.
In short, he seemed like a mutant up there on stage. --Calvin Godfrey