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Earlier today, mcjoan brought the news of yet another Republican Congressional retirement, in the person of Southern Florida's Lincoln Diaz-Balart. She also intimated (via James L. at SSP) that the Congressman's younger brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, might abandon his seat in the neighboring 25th district to head to safer Republican territory.

Apparently, it did not take long for Diaz-Balart the Younger to pull the trigger:

M. Diaz-Balart called the switch to his brother's CD "a natural move."

"In my years of public service at both the federal and state levels, I have had the privilege of representing most of the communities that make up Congressional District 21," said M. Diaz-Balart. "I have done so with devotion and dedication, effectively and with proven results."

This takes what had been only a modestly perilous district to hold for the GOP and swaps it out for a district that is incrementally more competitive. In the past three presidential elections, the Florida 25th has run one to six points more Democratic than the neighboring 21st district.

Furthermore, it was the scene of a considerably more competitive contest in 2008, when Mario Diaz-Balart hung on to defeat Democrat Joe Garcia with just 53% of the vote. Certainly, the tightness of that race might have been a whale of an incentive for the younger Diaz-Balart, who watched brother Lincoln cruise through his fairly competitive challenge with a more comfortable 58% of the vote.

Joe Garcia, incidentally, may now become a factor in the 2010 election cycle. He had originally demurred from seeking a rematch with Mario Diaz-Balart, but sources told Hotline On Call this morning that he might be amenable to running in an open seat contest. The site also reported that former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz might be on tap to be the leading Democrat to face MDB in FL-21.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 06:00 PM PST.

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