By Justin Chermol
For Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Second-Amendment politics are deeply personal.
Mucarsel-Powell, an Ecuadorian-born U.S. citizen, is facing the two-term Republican incumbent, Congressman Carlos Curbelo, in Florida's 26th District. She lost her father to gun violence when she was just 24.
"I'm going to take action on day one and will not stop until we find solutions to protect our kids in this community," she told Cheddar's J.D. Durkin.
Just eight months ago, Florida ー and the country ー was rattled by a devastating high-school shooting that claimed 17 lives and spurred a wave of protests and a national conversation on gun reform.
As Election Day looms, many political spectators have fixed their gaze on Mucarsel-Powell's district, among the most contentious midterm races in the country. Florida's 26th district was among the few Republican-controlled districts won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
The most recent poll from The New York Times has Mucarsel-Powell up 1 percent over the Congressman, with a margin of sampling error of 4.9 percent.
Mucarsel-Powell is calling for a four-pronged approach to reducing gun violence: banning military-style weapons, preventing gun show loopholes, requiring universal background checks, and prohibiting those with a history of domestic violence, mental illness, or terrorism, from purchasing a gun.
In a separate interview on Cheddar, Rep. Curbelo said of his efforts on gun reform: "I have a record of working across the aisle to get things done." That includes breaking with some Republicans to support a bill that would allow the federal government to research gun violence.
As for the race ー just six days away ー attack ads have stirred the local drama.
A super PAC backing Rep. Curbelo released a provocative ad featuring a man holding a gun on screen, the kind of message Mucarsel-Powell said is an intimidation tactic.
"The attacks against me have been really shameful," she said. "I think that it's time for Congressman Curbelo to really think about what he's doing to instigate and incite this type of behavior in this community."
For full interview click here.