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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – What happens in South Florida on Election Day could have a major impact on the battle for power in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the 26th District, incumbent Republican Carlos Curbelo is facing a challenge from Democratic political newcomer Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
In the 27th District, former television journalist, Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, is facing former Clinton cabinet member and former University of Miami President, Democrat Donna Shalala.
With more than $20 million spent from campaigns and outside groups, District 26 covering Miami-Dade and Monroe counties is the most expensive congressional race in state history.
The Democrat hopeful was with her volunteers Monday night preparing for Election Day.
“Every single vote is going to count if they’re ready for change; if they want someone who is going to fight for them, who’s going to fight for health care access, that’s going to bring gun reform, and do the necessary steps we need to take to protect our environment,” Mucarsel-Powell said.
Representative Curbelo’s camp told CBS4 he is spending the hours leading to Election Day with his family and was unavailable for comment. It’s a race that’s still a toss-up.
Neighboring District 27 race in Miami-Dade County to replace outgoing Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring, is also a dead heat.
Salazar spent time with volunteers and supporters on election day-eve.
“I don’t care what’s happening between the parties. People like me, with fresh ideas, a new set of eyes, I’m in my prime. I’m going to take that energy and that vigor to Washington,” the Republican hopeful told CBS4 while talking to voters.
Shalala, her opponent, also visited a restaurant Monday to drum up support in this tight race.
“The community has an opposite view from the president. We know we are a community of immigrants. This community has been built by immigration and by immigrants who have worked hard,” Shalala said.
The candidates are all now waiting to learn their fate Tuesday night.
CBS4 is also keeping a close eye on District 23, that covers parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is trying to keep her seat against Republican Joe Kaufman and Independent Tim Canova.