Almost every list of razor-thin races next month has Florida’s 26th district on it. Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo is one of the most endangered in the nation, he has a top-tier opponent in Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and in a state where March for Our Lives was launched, gun violence is never far from the front burner.
It played a large role in the candidate’s only English-language debate over last weekend, and unfortunately Curbelo is able to play a trump card of sorts in the form of an endorsement from Everytown, the parent organization for Moms Demand Action and one of the largest gun safety organizations in the country. The good news is that Mucarsel-Powell isn’t allowing that endorsement to provide Curbelo any cover on the issue:
Mucarsel-Powell said that gun control is a very personal issue for her because her father died in Ecuador due to gun violence.
She criticized Curbelo for introducing a so-called “bump stock” bill, to curb the sale of the firearm accessory, that went nowhere in the Republican-controlled house, and said her opponent “has never brought any type of comprehensive gun reform to the floor when he’s had his party in the majority.”
This is a key point, and is at the heart of what makes the Everytown endorsement so disappointing. Gun regulation will not happen in a Republican-controlled house. Curbelo, regardless of what day-late, dollar-short overtures he makes, will be part of a Republican caucus. He will vote for a Republican speaker. Not only is Mucarsel-Powell better on the issue, but she would represent one more Democratic seat toward retaking the House and a majority that cares about advancing legislation on this issue.