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Rep. Carlos Curbelo Keeps U.S. Congressional Seat

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The fight for U.S. Congressional seat 26 has been decided. The winner is the incumbent - U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo.

His challenger was former Congressman Joe Garcia.

Republican Congressman Curbelo was seeking a second term in Washington from a district that's changed since he was first elected.

Congressional District 26 includes parts of West Miami-Dade, Homestead, Everglades National Park and all of Monroe County. It was redistricted by the legislature and federal courts in 2015.

It's now about 36 percent registered Democrats, 32 percent Republican and 31 percent no party affiliation.

Joe Garcia represented the district for two years before losing to Curbelo two years ago and again on Tuesday night.

Garcia arrived at La Carreta in Kendall to throng of applause from dozens of supporters. In his concession speech, Garcia thanked his supporters and commended their hard work, saying they knocked on more doors than any other campaign in the state despite limited resources.

Garcia's campaign spokesman said volunteers reached out to half a million voters.

Despite their efforts and despite the majority of registered voters in the district being Democrats, Garcia was not able to pull off a victory blaming it on resources.

"We were outspent almost 4 to 1. I think that makes a huge difference. Money, you know, we have a process that is unfortunately out of control," said Garcia.

After his concession speech, Garcia shook hands with supporters and thanked them for their hard work. When asked what's next for him, he said he was going home and going to sleep.

Garcia would not respond when asked whether he'd run again in 2018.

The race was a nasty one with charges of corruption and bowing to special interests. Click here to read more about Campaign 2016.


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