“The whole issue of socialism and communism, the extremism of my opponent and many members of the Democrat Party gave us the victory,” Gimenez, the mayor of Maimi-Dade County, said Saturday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
Gimenez defeated freshman Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the 26th District.
Republican Maria Elvira Salazar also defeated freshman Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala to flip another seat as Democrats lost support among Hispanics in south Florida.
“Down here in Maimi-Dade County we have people that have come from Cuba. They have come from Venezuela, they’ve come from Nicaragua, south of Central America, and they understand what socialism is all about,” Gimenez said.
He slammed Mucarsel-Powell for being slow to condemn the “defund the police” movement and was not clear if she supported packing the Supreme Court.
“We’ve seen that movie before. We came from those countries and we want no part of it,” Gimenez said.
He believes the trend will continue as the Progressive Caucus is expected to grow.
“Even though they’ll deny they’re socialists, tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you what you are,” he said. “Not just Cubans and the Latin Americans and the Venezuelans here will reject it. The American people will eventually reject it because that’s not what this country is all about.”
Gimenez said that’s why he decided to run for public office. He soon will represent a district that stretches from the Miami suburbs to Key West.
“I came from Cuba as a 6-year-old kid and this is the land of opportunity,” he said. “I love this country and I don’t want to see something happening to this country that has happened to other countries down in the Caribbean, Central and South America.”
Gimenez was helped by President Trump’s strong appeal to Cuban voters in Florida, which the president won.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.