Mario Díaz-Balart

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Mario Díaz-Balart
Mario Diaz-Ballart Official.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by David Rivera
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by None (District Created After 2000 Census)
Succeeded by David Rivera
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 21st district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Lincoln Díaz-Balart
Succeeded by Ted Deutch
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 112th district
In office
Preceded by Alex Villalobos
Succeeded by David Rivera
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 37th district
In office
Preceded by Gwen Margolis
Succeeded by Alex Villalobos
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 115th district
In office
Preceded by Javier Souto
Succeeded by Carlos A. Manrique
Personal details
Born Mario Rafael Díaz-Balart Caballero
(1961-09-25) September 25, 1961 (age 57)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tia Díaz-Balart
Residence Miami, Florida
Alma mater University of South Florida
Occupation political assistant
Religion Roman Catholicism[1]
Website [2]

Mario Rafael Díaz-Balart Caballero (born September 25, 1961) is a Republican U.S. Representative from Florida. He has represented a district in the Miami area since 2003, currently numbered as the 25th district. His current district includes much of southwestern Miami-Dade County, including the city of Hialeah, as well as much of the northern portion of the Everglades.

Early life, education, and early political career

Díaz-Balart was born in 1961 in Fort Lauderdale, to Cuban parents, the late Cuban politician Rafael Díaz-Balart, and his wife, Hilda Caballero Brunet. His aunt, Mirta Díaz-Balart, was the first wife of Fidel Castro. Her son, and his cousin, is Fidel Ángel "Fidelito" Castro Díaz-Balart. His uncle is the Cuban-Spanish painter, Waldo Díaz-Balart. His brother, Lincoln Díaz-Balart, represented Florida's 21st District from 1993 to 2011. He has two other brothers, José Díaz-Balart, a journalist, and Rafael Díaz-Balart, a banker.

He attended the University of South Florida to study political science before beginning his public service career as an aide to then-Miami Mayor Xavier Suárez in 1985. In the same year, he changed his political party affiliation from Democratic to Republican.[2]

Florida legislature

He was elected to the Florida House in 1988 and moved to the Florida Senate in 1992. He returned to the Florida House in 2000. During his second tenure in the House, he chaired the redistricting committee.

U.S. House of Representatives

Chief Judge Kevin Michael Moore, swearing in Members of Congress Carlos Curbelo, Frederica Wilson, Mario Díaz-Balart, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (February 2015)



Díaz-Balart gave up his seat in the state house to run in the newly created 25th District, which included most of western Miami-Dade County, part of Collier County and the mainland portion of Monroe County. It was widely believed that he had drawn this district for himself, given that he was chairman of the state house redistricting committee. He easily won the seat with 64 percent of the vote. He was unopposed for reelection in 2004, and won a third term with 58 percent of the vote in 2006.


In 2008, however, Díaz-Balart faced his strongest challenge to date in Joe García, former Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation and former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party. Despite the perception that Díaz-Balart had drawn the district for himself, it was actually fairly marginal on paper, with a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+4. Ultimately, Díaz-Balart defeated Garcia with 53 percent of the vote.


On February 11, 2010, Díaz-Balart announced his intention to seek election in Florida's 21st congressional district—being vacated by his brother, Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart—rather than the 25th district.[3] Unlike the 25th, the 21st has long been considered the most Republican district in the Miami area.

No other party even put up a candidate when filing closed on April 30, handing the seat to Mario Diaz-Balart.[4]


Díaz-Balart was reelected unopposed in 2012 in the renumbered 25th district. Indeed, since this district's creation in 1993 (it was numbered as the 21st from 1993 to 2013), the Republican candidate has run unopposed in all but two elections.


Díaz-Balart's voting record is moderate to conservative. For his first two terms in Congress, Díaz-Balart was a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

He is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Hispanic Republican congressmen. Like his Cuban-American colleagues in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Díaz-Balart is a strong advocate of maintaining the Cuban embargo, saying "Some people do not understand the embargo of Cuba. Its purpose is to keep American hard currency out of the hands of a Communist thug by restricting most trade and travel."[5]

On September 29, 2008, Díaz-Balart voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008[6]

Committee assignments

Caucus membership

Personal life

He currently lives in Miami with his wife Tia and son Cristian Rafael.[7]


  1. " - 2014 Member Profile Page".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. El Nuevo Herald, Díaz-Balart Se Pasa Al Partido Republicano, April 24, 1985
  3. "Mario Díaz-Balart Will Run to Succeed His Brother". Roll Call. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-08-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Candidates and Races - Candidate Tracking system - Florida Division of Elections - Department of State".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. [1] Archived April 4, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681". FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 681. US House of Representatives.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Rivera
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 21st congressional district

Succeeded by
Ted Deutsch
Preceded by
District Created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th congressional district

Succeeded by
David Rivera
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tom Cole
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Trent Franks