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[FL-18/21/25] Democrats torn between party, GOP allegiances
|Last Edited||RBH Mar 09, 2008 06:41pm|
|News Date||Monday, March 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0|
|Description||Party leaders have tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to raise money and coach candidates in a high-stakes, aggressive bid to expand the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. |
But as three Miami Democrats look to unseat three of her South Florida Republican colleagues, Wasserman Schultz is staying on the sidelines. So is Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Miami Democrat and loyal ally to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
That wasn't the case just two years ago when the pair flouted a long-standing Florida delegation agreement to not campaign against colleagues and vigorously backed Ron Klein in his winning bid to oust veteran Republican Rep. Clay Shaw.
This time around, Wasserman Schultz and Meek say their relationships with the Republican incumbents, Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and his brother Mario, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, leave them little choice but to sit out the three races.
''At the end of the day, we need a member who isn't going to pull any punches, who isn't going to be hesitant,'' Wasserman Schultz said.
The decision comes as Democrats believe they have their best shot in years to defeat at least one of the Cuban-American incumbents with a roster of Democrats that include former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez, opposing Lincoln Diaz-Balart; outgoing Miami-Dade Democratic party chair Joe Garcia, opposing Mario Diaz-Balart; and businesswoman Annette Taddeo, opposing Ros-Lehtinen.
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