(WSVN) - There is a new challenger hoping to unseat the incumbent in the District 25 congressional race. 7’s Craig Stevens has more on the candidates.
House District 25 includes Northwestern Miami-Dade County and parts of Collier and Hendry counties.
Republican Mario Diaz-Balart is up against democrat and former judge, Mary Barzee Flores.
Both say immigration reform is one of their top issues.
Mario Diaz-Balart: “My goal is to legalize folks who are here undocumented, who have not committed any real crime.”
Barzee Flores says she’ll start by helping Dreamers get on the path to citizenship.
Mary Barzee Flores: “The number one priority are our Dreamers, and then we’ve got to go down the list.”
One of the most contentious issues in the campaign has been gun violence.
Mary Barzee Flores: “We need universal background checks on the purchase of firearms in this country, and we’ve gotta close the gun show loophole.”
Diaz-Balart worked with parents of some of the Parkland victims to create legislation to increase security at schools but said more needs to be done.
Mario Diaz-Balart: “We need to outlaw bump stocks. We need to make sure that dangerous people do not have access to guns. We need to make sure that background checks are thorough, and they’re done in a much better way than they are today.”
His comments on gun legislation come with criticism from Barzee Flores.
Mary Barzee Flores: “He’s a proud, A-rated politician by the NRA. [He] has taken more money from the NRA than any other Congressperson in all of the State of Florida in the last 20 years, has even taken money from the NRA after Parkland.”
However, the incumbent has his own criticism of the challenger.
Mario Diaz-Balart: “I will compare any and all campaign contributions that I’ve ever received to my opponent, whose household income is derived from defending drug dealers, defending convicted terrorists, from defending folks who have committed heinous crimes with firearms.”
Diaz-Balart says he will also focus his efforts on the economy, which he said is moving in a positive direction.
Mario Diaz-Balart: “I’m very proud of being one of those that voted to lower taxes on everybody in our country: middle class, small businesses, midsize businesses, and the proof is that now the economy is booming.”
Barzee Flores believes only a small percentage of people are actually reaping the benefits of the tax cuts.
Mary Barzee Flores: “It’s booming for the one percent, and it’s booming for the folks who have big stock portfolios, but the fact of the matter is most of us do not have big stock portfolios, and I get that.”
Both Diaz-Balart and Barzee Flores say if elected, they are ready to work beyond party lines to benefit the people of South Florida.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Broward Sample Ballot
Miami-Dade Sample Ballot
Monroe County Sample Ballot:
Website for Mario Diaz-Balart:
Website for Mary Barzee Flores:
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