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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Barreiro leaves Sen race to challenge Rep. Garcia



Republican leaders and the reality of a cold cash disadvantage have persuaded former Rep. Gus Barreiro to leave a longshot bid for Senate so that he can take back his old seat that Rep. Luis Garcia, a Democrat, won in 2006. He has raised $17,000.

Now, two big Republicans are squaring off for the Senate seat: Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and Rep. Julio Robaina. Miguel, brother of incumbent Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, raised a whopping $161k last quarter. Robaina: $75,000 (for two quarters). Barriero: $7,000.

Barreiro faces two Republicans in the House race first, though. Tony Japour had raised a respectable $22,800 while Dean Santoro had raised far less in three quarters, $3,840.

Barreiro's decision to run for House District 107 again against a Democrat will undoubtedly raise the specter of his recent firing from the Department of Juvenile Justice. DJJ officials say they found numerous pornographic images on his work computer stemming from his frequent visits to the swinger-type website His login: Cubancigar107. Barreiro, who was once a fierce critic of DJJ for its mishandling of kids in custody, says he was set up.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:57pm]


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