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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Meet the Miami woman who won Hillary Clinton's raffle and will be in the room when 'Hamilton' happens

11

July

For one lucky Hillary Clinton fan from Miami, there’s nothing like summer in the city — New York City, that is, with a pair of impossible-to-score tickets to the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”

Barbara Garcia won the Clinton campaign’s raffle to watch the Tony Award-winning show as the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate’s guest Tuesday.

Garcia was having dinner at Outback Steakhouse on West Flagler Street and 82nd Avenue Sunday when the campaign called her to tell her she’d won. She’s the raffle’s only winner — and a Cuban-American woman from the nation’s largest swing state, no less.

“I think I kind of screamed,” said Garcia, an anatomy and physiology professor at Doral’s West Coast Nursing University. “I’m a huge supporter of Hillary, and I’m blown away.”

She only entered the online raffle — for two tickets, airfare and hotel — after a friend entered first and told her about it. That friend will be Garcia’s guest at the show.

Clinton has already seen “Hamilton” — twice. Tuesday’s special performance will serve as a fundraiser for her campaign, with the cheapest seats going for $2,700 each — and “premium” seats, with a photo session with Clinton, for a whopping $10,000 a pop. She’s also reportedly tried to get some cast members to perform live later this month at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

There was a chance Garcia wouldn’t make it. She teaches Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. But she didn’t throw away her shot. She couldn’t say no to this.

“It was a scramble to find somebody to sub for me,” Garcia said. “But I was able to do that.”

Diehard “Hamilton” fans might note Garcia will see the show just three days after its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, said good-bye to the production. But Garcia, 40, isn’t a “Hamilton” devotee. She read up on the show only after entering the raffle. It’s seeing Clinton that would make her feel satisfied.

“I know that she’s going to be there, and so I really hope I get the opportunity to meet her,” Garcia said. “I would say to her, ‘I’ve been with you for a long time. I was a huge supporter in 2008.’ I was a little disappointed that she didn’t win in 2008, but I always said, ‘We’re going to get it done in 2016.’”

Garcia, a Democrat, spoke to the Miami Herald from New York after she arrived Monday.

What comes next?

“I have never been to a Broadway show — only the ones that come to Miami, to the Arsht Center, but never to an actual Broadway show,” she added. “I can’t wait.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 8:20am]

    

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