MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In an effort to rally support against his Democratic rival, U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo brought a GOP party heavyweight to town to speak on his behalf.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan visited Curbelo’s campaign headquarters to talk about the state of the race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District seat and meet with campaign volunteers.
“I’m here to learn about how, right here, you have made successful education reforms so that you can put young people on the road of upward mobility,” Ryan said, speaking to the crowd.
Before that, the two toured Caribbean Elementary, a Miami school with many students who are English Language Learners (ELL). Curbelo has championed ELL priorities in Congress and included an amendment that would allow non-English speaking students more time to become proficient in it.
“These two pieces of legislation that Congressman Curbelo led in congress are not only helpful for Miami-Dade County public schools, but absolutely important for our nation,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
The appearance of a high profile supporter is not sitting well with former congressman Joe Garcia, who is challenging Curbelo for his House seat. Garcia, a Democrat, was the congressman in District 26 before the Republican beat him out two years ago and this time out, the race is just as contentious.
A recent attack ad asked why a “SuperPAC funded by Donald Trump (is) spending over $1 million to elect Carlos Curbelo.”
On Wednesday, the congressman spoke briefly about Trump, including addressing his assertion that the election is rigged.
“I am confident that all the state officials are gonna do everything in their power to guarantee the integrity of this election,” Curbelo replied.
Recently, Trump asserted that Ryan’s support has waned because of his own ambitions to run for president.
“Paul Ryan’s only ambition is to help strengthen this country,” said Curbelo. “And right now, that means being a good Speaker of the House.”