By Patricia Mazzei
September 27, 2016
Miami Rep. Carlos Curbelo‘s starting to get help for his reelection race from all corners of the Republican Party — including on Tuesday from American Unity PAC, which backs Republicans who support gay rights.
American Unity launched a $125,000 digital ad campaign for Curbelo on YouTube and other online platforms. The two ads, however, are not about LGBTQ issues.
Betting that women will be the key swing voters in Florida’s 26th congressional district, the super PAC has instead put together two spots highlighting Curbelo’s stance on equal pay.
Clicking on the videos leads to a standalone page touting Curbelo’s equal-pay stance.
Curbelo co-sponsored the “Workplace Advancement Act,” a bill that would protect employees from retaliation for asking or talking about their wages. Democrats have bashed Curbelo for failing to support the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” which would require employers to demonstrate that any male-to-female pay disparity is due to job performance and not gender.
“In the U.S. House, Carlos Curbelo has been a champion for freedom and equal opportunity for all of South Florida,” Tyler Deaton, senior adviser to American Unity, said in a statement. “His legislative record in Congress proves that he is a different kind of Republican. Whether he is fighting for women to receive the equal pay they have earned or to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace, he understands that when Floridians excel at work, their families succeed, Florida succeeds and America succeeds.”
American Unity plans to air its videos in the Westchester-to-Key West district through Election Day as part of a broader advertising campaign. Next month, according to Deaton, the super PAC plans to make a radio buy of about $300,000 for Curbelo, who faces a challenge from former U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia.
The super PAC is eyeing about a dozen House races across the country, Deaton said — including Florida’s 27th district, where longtime gay-rights proponent Ileana Ros-Lehtinen faces a long-shot challenge fromScott Fuhrman.