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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can Carlos Curbelo survive Donald Trump's GOP?

When he was first elected in 2014, Carlos Curbelo seemed like the perfect face of the new, post-Mitt Romney Republican Party: a young Hispanic who supports immigration reform, believes in climate change and is well-liked by GOP leaders in Congress.

Then came the 2016 presidential election. Out went Republicans’ plans — swept away by Donald Trump’s populist force — to grow their party by embracing diversity and a soft political touch. The presumptive nominee derided some Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” opined global warming is a “hoax” and dismissed House Speaker Paul Ryan’s vacillation over whether to endorse him.

In the midst of it all, Curbelo — the 36-year-old congressman who gained national notoriety last year when he suggested Trump might be a ringer planted by Democrat Hillary Clinton — has pushed a legislative agenda aimed at notching incremental victories as a freshman and trying to appeal to constituents in a district more Democratic than the one that put him in office two years ago.

Can a moderate like Curbelo survive in Trump’s GOP?

Yes, Curbelo insists — assuming Trump’s name leading the November ballot doesn’t end his congressional career after a single term.

More here.

[Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2016 1:49pm]

    

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