House Speaker Paul Ryan is soon coming to the aid of a Republican running for reelection to one of the most competitive congressional seats in the country: Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo.
Ryan is expected to visit South Florida later this month to campaign for Curbelo as part of a broader election tour that will take the speaker to 17 states and 42 cities in October ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“Paul Ryan is committed to doing everything possible to help defend and expand Republican Congressional majorities,” said Kevin Seifert, a longtime Ryan aide and executive director of the speaker’s political arm, Team Ryan. “He is going to finish this election cycle on a strong note — spending October promoting the Better Way agenda and providing tactical support to our hardest-working members and our most promising challengers across the country.”
Curbelo has been a vocal supporter of Ryan’s agenda. He penned a Univision op-ed in Spanish last week promoting House Republicans’ proposals to reduce poverty.
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Curbelo’s Democratic challenger, former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, has tried to use Curbelo’s support of Ryan as a way to cast Curbelo — who’s campaigning as a moderate in Florida’s 26th congressional district — as a hardline conservative. The Westchester-to-Key West district now leans Democratic; Curbelo has notably refused to back GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
With Congress on a break after having averted a government shutdown last week, Ryan will now have time to support Curbelo and other House incumbents, such as Texas Rep. Will Hurd, as well as U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Ryan doesn’t plan to be in Florida until later in October. Domestic mail-in ballots will begin to go out Tuesday.
Team Ryan has transferred more than $30 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which is backing Curbelo’s reelection. Ryan’s organization also boasts that it’s already raised more this election cycle than former Speaker John Boehner did in 2012-14. Boehner is a frequent visitor to the Florida Keys.
NRCC Chairman Greg Walden will join Ryan on some legs of his trip.
“People across the United States are excited to hear from Speaker Ryan about our ideas for getting the country back on track and they want to see House Republicans govern with a big majority,” Walden said. “It’s been a wild election year, but Paul Ryan has been the steady hand — leading the conference and our members right up through Election Day.”