GOP Flips The Script On Florida Democrat, Accuses Her Of Taking ‘Dirty Coal Money’

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Democratic congressional hopeful Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is the subject of attack ads unlike other liberal candidates for accepting fossil fuel money.

Mucarsel-Powell is the Democratic nominee vying to replace Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th District. The district, which encompasses the tip of southern Florida and Key West, earns the distinction as the most Democratic-leaning district currently controlled by a Republican. Both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama won there by double-digit margins.

Curbelo’s re-election is considered one of the most opportune pickup opportunities for House Democrats.

Given that he is running in a district where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans, Curbelo has run a very moderate campaign. The two-term Republican lawmaker has not hesitated to criticize President Donald Trump and members of his own party.

“My principles are more important than any of that,” Curbelo said in an interview regarding controversy surrounding Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King. “I would never cast a ballot for someone like Steve King.”

House Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), celebrate at a news conference announcing the passage of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

House Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), celebrate at a news conference announcing the passage of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

He has also supported a litany of left-leaning positions, such as more protections for immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a proposal to enact a tax on carbon emissions, and he has attacked other Republican lawmakers who have garnered negative headlines. (RELATED: Project Veritas Catches Andrew Gillum Campaign Staffer Calling White People Slur)

Curbelo has now gone on the attack against his opponent over environmental issues. The National Republican Congressional Committee is running an ad that hits Mucarsel-Powell over her family allegedly profiting off a company that “repeatedly violates environmental laws” and said that her campaign is “flooded with dirty coal money.”


“We know about her shady money from a Ukrainian militia leader accused of bribery, embezzlement and murder. But now we learn that her family profits off a company that repeatedly violates environmental laws, and her campaign is flooded with dirty coal money, the very polluters that threaten our way of life in the Keys,” the narrator says.

Beyond the campaign stump, Curbelo has legislated more moderately than the rest of the House GOP. Despite an overwhelming number of House Republicans voting for a resolution that condemned the idea of a carbon tax, the Florida lawmaker introduced a bill that calls for a $23 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions. Curbelo is also a co-founder of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

Inside Elections and Cook Political Report rate the race in Florida’s 26th District as a “toss up.”

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