The Miami Herald recommends Joe Garcia as the right choice for District 26 in the Democratic primary.
Joe Garcia has traveled a rocky road during his political career. Some of his stumbles have been of his own making, as evidenced by the obscenities he hurled at a Spanish-language TV host, at least according to those who say they heard the tirade.
And Mr. Garcia, a Democratic former congressman, has yet to fully dispel the doubts that still hover over his campaign to reclaim a seat he lost to U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican, in 2014.
In 2012, his chief of staff, Jeff Garcia, who is no relation, was convicted of submitting illegal absentee-ballot requests and received jail time. In addition, he was given probation after he acknowledged that he put up a ringer tea-party candidate two years earlier.
Joe Garcia was not charged with any wrongdoing, but it’s a topic that still dogs him.
His opponent in this Democratic primary, Annette Taddeo has made it an issue and says that he is under a cloud and has associated with the “wrong people.” She said that Congress “needs ethical lawmakers,” implying that Mr. Garcia was not.
She’s right that lawmakers must make integrity their priority. However, we are giving Mr. Garcia, 52, the benefit of the doubt in recommending him in this race.
There’s his bombast, yes, but he was a real fighter for his district and for Florida when he served in Congress. He rightly was livid when then-House Speaker John Boehner blocked a vote on comprehensive immigration reform, saying that it was a “slap in the face to the Hispanic community, to South Florida families and to the thousands of Americans across our country.”
He went to bat for the Export-Import Bank, which was under threat of not being reauthorized, recognizing its importance to the businesses that fuel Florida’s economy.
Ms. Taddeo, 49, who runs a business called LanguageSpeak, is a stalwart Democrat who in 2012 sought to replace popular long-time Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and in 2014 was Charlie Crist’s running mate for lieutenant governor. She also made an unsuccessful run for the Miami-Dade County Commission.
But each time out, she failed to get much traction, and this latest run looks like one more attempt to serve in elected office — any elected office, no matter which one.
The two candidates are in sync on several issues: They back the new U.S. relationship with Cuba; want to keep guns out of the hands of those on the terrorist watch list and would fight attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The former congressman has shown himself to be a committed fighter for his constituents. In District 26, the Herald recommends JOE GARCIA.