Election Day in Florida's 26th Congressional District is a year away, but the crowded Republican race to challenge Rep. Joe Garcia, a Miami Democrat, is already on.
Joe Martinez, the former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, officially launched his campaign Thursday at the Olga Maria Martinez Senior Center in West Kendall, a facility he inaugurated named after his mother. The congressional district spans Kendall to Key West.
Less than two hours later, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced that another GOP contender in the race, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, has been named to the first level of the party's "Young Guns" program that promotes candidate recruitment. The NRCC considers Curbelo to be "On the Radar" -- a status that could help him attract new campaign donors.