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Democrats breaking Republican lock on Cuban vote
In Florida, Democrats breaking decades-long Republican lock on Cuban-American vote
By MICHAEL J. MISHAK
Associated Press
2014-01-04 03:42 AM

MIAMI (AP) -- Miami has long been the capital of Cuban exiles. And running for U.S. Congress there has required two things: being Republican and taking a hard line on Cuba.

Joe Garcia became the first Cuban-American Democrat elected to the House from Florida in 2012. His election signaled a crack in a critical Republican constituency. Garcia represents a new breed of Cuban-American, more interested in pragmatism and reconciliation than regime change and isolation.

It's a generational shift that could help change U.S. policy toward Cuba and reshape politics in the swing state of Florida.

The implications are troubling for the Republican Party, which has long had a lock on the Cuban-American vote. The community makes up a third of the state's fast-growing Hispanic population.

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