Common-sense gun reform and incumbent Carlos Curbelo’s allegiance to the NRA and their campaign checks were key factors in his defeat. Voters wanted a leader who would stand up to the gun lobby and put public safety first - electing Debbie Mucarsel-Powell as the new Representative for FL-26 in Congress.
November 6, 2018 -- Washington, DC -- Pride Fund to End Gun Violence PAC – America’s only national LGBTQ political organization focused solely on gun violence prevention – tonight celebrates the victory of Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell against Republican incumbent Carlos Curbelo in Florida’s 26th district. 65% of Americans support stricter gun laws, 97% of Americans support universal background checks on gun sales, and 70% support a ban on assault weapons. Having lost her father to gun violence at age 24, Mucarsel-Powell understands the urgency of America’s gun violence epidemic and spoke to the safety concerns of her constituents by focusing on common sense gun reform measures. Meanwhile, her opponent walked the party line of the NRA and corporate gun lobby during the majority of his time in Congress. Congressman Curbelo’s past acceptance of $75,000 in campaign donations from the NRA and his record of voting against gun safety were key components of his defeat tonight. The voters wanted a candidate who would stand up for their safety, and that was Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
“Congressman Carlos Curbelo tried to portray himself as a moderate to win votes, but we knew the truth. After the NRA’s $75,000 investment in his campaigns, he voted against even the most basic gun safety bills. We remembered, and we unseated him. In Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, we have a true gun reform champion who knows from personal experience the devastation of gun violence. She won’t waver and will stand committed to passing laws to save lives in Congress,” said Jason Lindsay, Founder and Executive Director of Pride Fund.
Due to her commitment to gun safety and the “toss-up” status of her race, Mucarsel-Powell was one of Pride Fund’s “Spotlight Candidates” in the midterm elections. To get her elected, Pride Fund released a digital, targeted campaign ad entitled “Consistency,” which highlighted her commitment to gun reform and exposed Curbelo’s extreme, far-right voting record against gun safety. Pride Fund also extended its Get Out the Vote efforts into her district by recruiting volunteers, mobilizing voters, and making phone calls to maximize voter turnout.
Pride Fund was the only gun safety organization to endorse Mucarsel-Powell, despite her commitment to common-sense gun reform. Other organizations endorsed and/or supported Carlos Curbelo, despite the fact the he was elected to Congress with the help of over $75,000 in campaign contributions from the NRA. In exchange, his voting record in Congress reflected the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda: for example, he voted against expanding background checks, against keeping potential terrorists and the extremely mentally ill from purchasing guns, and against allowing federal research on gun violence, among others.
Mucarsel-Powell, however, has spent her entire career fighting for the best possible future for Florida by standing up for health care, the environment, and common-sense gun reform. After losing her father to gun violence, Debbie has been a fierce advocate for common-sense gun reforms. She is committed to closing the gun show loophole, establishing universal background checks, and ensuring that guns do not fall into the hands of dangerous people.