Florida House races to help determine control in Washington

MIAMI (AP) – Florida’s reputation as a perennial battleground state remains intact in this year’s races for U.S. House.

On the marquee Tuesday is the contest between Democratic former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Republican former television journalist Maria Elvira Salazar.

The two are competing to occupy the seat occupied for decades by GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who’s retiring.

Another hotly contested seat is in the Miami area’s 26th District.

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is struggling to hold on to a seat that has switched back and forth between the GOP and Democrats in recent years. The Cuban-American lawmaker faces Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who has worked for several nonprofit organizations in the Miami area and is originally from Ecuador.

Eight-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is also being challenged by Democratic former judge Mary Barzee Flores.

The majority of districts represented by incumbents appear likely to stay that way, however.

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