Joe Martinez says he will challenge Joe Garcia for CD 26

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Joe Martinez, the former Miami-Dade Commission chairman who lost his bid to become county mayor last year, said Friday that he intends to run against Congressman Joe Garcia in 2014.

“I’m meeting with different people and feeling them out, seeing what the level of support will be there,” Martinez told The Miami Herald shortly after announcing his intentions on Facebook. He wants to get in the race, Martinez said, “to shake it up.”

Martinez’s name has been floated in political circles in connection with the 26th Congressional district since Garcia, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Republican Rep. David Rivera in November. The district extends from Kendall to Key West.

Martinez, a Republican, said he sees himself as a pragmatist in tune with residents’ needs after his 12 years on the County Commission, including two terms as chairman. He gave up his seat last year to unsuccessfully challenge Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Martinez said Friday that he has since opened a public relations and business development consulting firm.

Garcia’s chief of staff, Jeffrey Garcia (no relation), said from D.C. that the congressman “is focused on doing the work that the people sent him here to do.”

More from Patricia Mazzei here.

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.