Joe Garcia Announces He's Running Again For District 26

Joe Garcia may very well end up spending more of his life campaigning for congress than he does actually serving in it. The former one-term Democratic congressman announced today his fifth straight candidacy for a Southwestern Miami-Dade congressional district after being defeated in 2014 by current the current Rep. Republican Carlos Curbelo. 

Garcia first, however, will have to face off in primary against Annette Taddeo, another Democrat whose long and fruitless attempts at running for office mirrors Garcia's.

Garcia's announcement guarantees that District 26 continues as the most interesting, long-running soap opera in Miami politics. 

Let's revisit how we got to this point. Garcia, the former executive director of the Cuban American National Foundation, made his first attempt at public office way back in 2008. He lost then, as he did in 2010, to Republican Rep. David Rivera — a close personal friend at the time of Marco Rubio.

But Rivera was also plagued with scandals, regularly earning mention as the most corrupt member of congress for his various shenanigans. In 2012, during yet another rematch with Garcia, Rivera was alleged to have run a ringer candidate in the Democratic primary to try to knock Garcia out. Then allegations emerged that Garcia himself may have helped to fund a third party ringer back in 2010.

Amid all the muck throwing, Garcia did manage to finally win the seat in 2012. But the next year, his chief-of-staff resigned amid an investigation into absentee ballot fraud. 

After serving a single term, Garcia was defeated in 2014 by Curbelo, who was then a school board member. 

The Democratic establishment seemed to have been done with Garcia. This year they've already rallied around Taddeo, Charlie Crist's former running mate who has also made her own two failing bids for congress in 2008 and 2012.

But Garcia isn't going to quietly fade into the night. Why?

“We did great things when we were in Congress and I want to continue work on the issues that matter to South Florida, because we deserve better,” Garcia said in a statement to reporters. “We deserve quality jobs that pay a living wage, lower college tuition, action on climate change, and comprehensive immigration reform.”
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Kyle Munzenrieder