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Sunday, October 24, 2021

TWO FLORIDA CONGRESSMEN LOSE TO CHALLENGERS

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Both incumbents — one Democrat and one Republican — lost their seats Tuesday in Florida’s two most hotly-contested congressional races.

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One-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia lost to Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo 51.56 percent to 48.44 percent in the 26th Congressional District, which includes parts of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

And Democratic challenger Gwen Graham — daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham — ousted two-term incumbent Steve Southerland, a Panama City Republican who was elected in the tea-party wave of 2010. Graham garnered just over 50 percent of the vote to 49.4 percent for Southerland, making her the first woman to represent Northwest Florida’s 2nd Congressional District.

Garcia and Southerland had been considered two of the most vulnerable incumbents in the country — which drew national endorsements and large sums to both districts.

Southerland estimated that the 2nd Congressional District had attracted $14 million or $15 million to the two candidates and their outside allies.

The races also drew large amounts of vitriol.

Graham was elected by 2,420 votes — about 1 percent, Bob Graham told cheering supporters at the Florida State University Center Club.

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And Gwen Graham said she’d spoken with Southerland, “and he was very gracious…I thanked him for his service to the district.”

Garcia, after one term that was hobbled by scandals involving two former aides, lost to Curbelo, a well-funded Miami-Dade School Board member. Garcia, who was elected to the seat on his third try, has denied knowing that his chief of staff set up a plot to make fake online requests for absentee ballots in the 2012 contest. The chief of staff wound up resigning and going to jail for 90 days.

Curbelo, 34, owns a political consulting firm called Capitol Gains. He served as state director for U.S. Sen. George LeMieux before winning his seat on the school board in 2010.

Garcia released a statement saying that he called Curbelo and conceded, adding that he hoped Curbelo ” will serve, as I have, by putting the people of South Florida over party politics.”

In another South Florida Congressional race, incumbent Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy held on to his Treasure Coast area seat, defeating Republican challenger Carl Domino, a former state House member.

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Previous articleParadise Suzanna Style Suzanna Leigh Book Surge c/o Create Space 4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406 www.createspace.com, E-bay suzanna leigh autographed copy 9781439209684, $20.99, www.amazon.com “Paradise, Suzanna Style” is the actress Suzanna Leigh talking to readers about her life in the film industry. She was lucky enough to have worked with Elvis Presley, Roger Moore, Tony Curtis, Jerry Lewis, and Thelma Ritter and now tells lots of interesting stories about them and other actors. She also deals with her mother who was never really there for her, how she stood up to major producers, her drive and ambition to become a film star, and lots more. 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Some of the things he goes into are the making of “Mary Poppins,” how the “Dick Van Dyke Show” began and why it was so successful, other shows he was part of and why “Diagnosis Murder” is so popular. “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” will have readers loving Dick Van Dyke even more than before. Hope to Die James Patterson Little Brown and Company c/o Hachette Book Group USA 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 www.HatchetteBookGroupUSA.com 97803210966, $28.00 www.amazon.com “Cross My Heart,” the last Alex Cross novel left things in the air for his family that had been kidnapped. In “Hope to Die” Patterson ties up that story line with a nail biting tale of suspense as Alex Cross searches for the people who took his family hostage. He is more determined than ever before because this time it’s personal. The novel moves along with plenty of twists and turns and brings in some new characters who help Cross on his mission to find his family. “Hope to Die” was worth waiting for. Death of a Christmas Caterer Lee Hollis Kensington Publishing Corp 119 West 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 www.kensingtonbooks.com 9780758294517, $7.99, www.amazon.com A caterer is killed and columnist Hayley Powell is determined to help the police solve the case in the newest installment of the Hayley Powell food and cocktails mystery series. Hollis once again fills the story with fun characters and situations that move the story along to the revealing reason the caterer was murdered. “Death of a Christmas Caterer” is a delightful mix of mystery and mayhem in time for the Christmas season. The Last Alibi David Ellis Berkley Prime Crime c/o Penguin Group USA 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 www.penguin.com 9780425267745, $9.99, www.amazon.com Before “The Last Alibi” the only David Ellis novels I had read and reviewed were the ones he has co-authored with James Patterson. A man named James Drinker hires attorney Jason Kolarich to represent him. 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What he finds is not what he expected but Grisham makes the story very interesting to the very end. “Theodore Boone the Abduction” is for Grisham fans and anyone who wants a fast paced mystery. Pluto the Starfish Bonnie M. Anderson Illustrated by Malinda Raines Outskirts Press Inc 10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134 www.outskirtspress.com 9781478730408, $16.95, www.amazon.com Pluto the starfish wants to know his purpose in life so he asks all of his friends to help him understand why he exists. He talks to a lobster, a shark, a sea turtle and many others of the sea to learn that his life is not as bad as he first believed. There are many underlying positive messages for all of us as we encounter the interesting characters that take the story along to the end. “Pluto the Starfish is a fun book for all ages to enjoy. The Old Harper House Deborah L. 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