Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
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Debbie Mucarsel-Powell

Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, official portrait, 116h Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 26th district

January 3, 2019
Carlos Curbelo
Personal details
Debbie Jessika Mucarsel Gil

(1971-01-18) January 18, 1971 (age 48)
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Robert Powell
EducationPitzer College (BA)
Claremont Graduate University (MA)
WebsiteHouse website

Debbie Jessika Mucarsel-Powell (born January 18, 1971)[1] is an American politician and college administrator who is serving as a U.S. Representative for Florida's 26th congressional district. The district serves western Miami-Dade County, including Homestead, as well as the Florida Keys. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education

Mucarsel-Powell was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the daughter of Imelda Gil and Guido Mucarsel Yunes. Mucarsel-Powell immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old, with her mother and three older sisters. She began working in a doughnut shop and continued to work to help support her family, who shared a one bedroom apartment.[2]

She attended Pomona Catholic High School in Pomona, California. She earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Pitzer College and a master's degree in International Political Economy from Claremont Graduate University.[3]

Earlier career

Mucarsel-Powell worked for non-profits like the Hope Center, Zoo Miami Foundation, and the Coral Restoration Foundation.[4][5] From 2003 to 2007, she served as the Director of Development at Florida International University. She was the Associate Vice President for Advancement at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine from 2007 to 2011.[6] Mucarsel-Powell became an associate dean at the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.[4][5]

Mucarsel-Powell had volunteered for the presidential campaigns of John Kerry and Barack Obama, and in 2016, she ran unsuccessfully against Anitere Flores for the Florida State Senate.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives



In August 2017, Mucarsel-Powell announced she would challenge Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in Florida's 26th congressional district of the United States House of Representatives in the 2018 elections.[8] She defeated veteran Demetries Grimes in the Democratic Party primary election, receiving 63.5% of the vote.[9]

In the November 6 general election, Mucarsel-Powell defeated Curbelo, receiving 50.9% of the vote,[10] becoming the first Ecuadorian-born person to be elected to the United States Congress and the first woman to represent Florida's 26th congressional district.[2][11]

Committee assignments

Source: Clerk of the House of Representatives[12]

Caucus memberships

Electoral History

Florida State Senate, 23rd district, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Anitere Flores (incumbent) 97,343 54.24
Democratic Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 82,117 45.76
Total votes 179,460 100.0
Republican hold Swing {{{swing}}}
Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 20,997 63.5
Democratic Demetries Grimes 12,095 36.5
Total votes 33,092 100.0
Florida's 26th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Debbie Mucarsel-Powell 119,797 50.9
Republican Carlos Curbelo (incumbent) 115,678 49.1
Total votes 235,475 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican

Personal life

When she was 24, Mucarsel-Powell's father was killed in Ecuador due to gun violence.[18] She is of Ecuadorian and Lebanese ancestry.[19] Mucarsel-Powell and her husband, Robert Powell, have two children.[2] Her husband is an attorney who serves as in-house counsel for Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., a public company that owns the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana restaurant brands.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Florida New Members 2019, The Hill
  2. ^ a b c "Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, la primera ecuatoriana elegida al Congreso de EEUU - La República EC" (in Spanish). November 6, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ "Meet Debbie | Debbie Mucarsel Powell". Debbie Mucarsel Powell. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ a b By $${element.Contributor} (August 2, 2017). "Carlos Curbelo Gets Democratic Challenger Who Emigrated from Ecuador". Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Two Latinos, Carlos Curbelo and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell battle for Florida congressional seat". Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Debbie Mucarsel-Powell's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Clark, Lesley (October 5, 2018). "Democratic activist wants to be part of Florida's blue wave | McClatchy Washington Bureau". Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ "Curbelo draws Democratic challenger in swing Florida district". miamiherald. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ Greenwood, Max (August 28, 2018). "Former educator secures Democratic nod to challenge Curbelo in Florida". The Hill. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Florida Election Results: 26th House District". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Killion, Ann. "The Latest: Nelson campaign supporting recount 'to win'". Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives - Official Alphabetical List". Retrieved 2019.
  13. ^ "The Women's Caucus". Women's Congressional Policy Institute. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Members". Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "Members". LGBT Equality Caucus.
  16. ^ "Congressional Progressive Caucus : Caucus Members". Retrieved 2019.
  17. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ Mucha, Sarah (March 22, 2018). "Dem candidate recounts her history with gun violence in new ad to air during gun control march". CNN. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ Gamboa, Suzanne (November 7, 2018). "Latino, minority voters helped drive Democrats' gains in U.S. House, experts say". NBC News. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ Florida Bar Association Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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