The Campaign Spot

Another House Republican Departs; Maybe He’s Tired of Washington’s Snow

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, is retiring.

At this point, the only candidate listed running for this seat in 2010 is William Sanchez, who filed with the Federal Election Commission as a Republican on September 28, then filed with the FEC as a Democrat on November 16, and changed his party affiliation to Democrat with the Florida Division of Elections nine days later.

McCain narrowly carried this district, 51 percent to 49 percent, in 2008; Bush carried it 57 percent to 43 percent in 2004. Diaz-Balart’s 58 percent last year was his smallest percentage in his career; he had no Democratic opposition in 2002, 2000, 1996, 1994, or 1992.

From Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics:

The population of the district is 73 percent Hispanic, the highest of any Florida district, and just under 44 percent of residents are of Cuban origin . . . The 21st has the lowest number of registered voters of any Florida district. Overall, this is a Republican district, but one that sometimes votes for Democrats who support the Cuban community’s issues.

UPDATE: Family heirlooms! From the link above:

Word is his brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, will run for Lincoln’s seat — a safer Republican district. That would open up Mario’s seat. There’s no clear front runner for that seat, but state Reps. David Rivera and Anitere Flores are running for a state Senate seat that is almost fully contained in the congressional district.

Has a congressman ever switched districts before? Not triggered by redistricting, I mean?

I suppose the idea is to save on “Vote for Diaz-Balart” signs.

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