Miami congressman trekked to Everglades to meet U.S. secretary

A scheduling conflict — namely, a meeting with Gov. Rick Scott — kept U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia from joining new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for an air boat trip through the Everglades last week.

But the Miami Democrat didn’t want to miss meeting a Cabinet member whose agency oversees a big chunk of his district, which encompasses much of Everglades National Park. So Garcia took the long drive out Tamiami Trail to the Everglades Safari Park attraction to chat up Jewell for a few minutes and express his support for continued Glades restoration efforts.

On his way out, Garcia joked about his un-outdoorsy outfit — a natty gray suit and yellow tie — and the area’s most influential denizens, several of whom were lurking not far from the dock.

“The good thing is alligators don’t get to vote,” he said. “They usually vote Republican.”