Belen Jesuit Alumni Candidates to Debate

Teresa Martinez | Director of Communications
Belen Jesuit is proud to host the U.S. House of Representatives Florida District 26 Debate featuring alumni Carlos Curbelo (R) and Joe Garcia (D) along with the moderator, Emmy Award-winning ABC News anchor and correspondent, Tom Llamas in the Roca Theater on Thursday, October 13, at 7:00 p.m.
“We are honored to welcome home these distinguished alumni. Their service to the community and state make us very proud. It is for us a blessing to have them demonstrate for our students the world of politics in action in the form of a live debate. Their participation in this event will be a great teaching moment,” said school President Jesuit Father Guillermo M. García-Tuñón. “We look forward to being part of a spirited debate on issues that are important for our community.”
The presentation will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. with an introduction by Belen Jesuit President Father García-Tuñón. The moderator, Mr. Llamas, will then explain the format and time restrictions to each candidate, as well as address the audience. Each candidate will have the opportunity to make both an opening and closing statement. Only questions from Belen students will be permitted.
Joe Garcia is a graduate of Belen Jesuit from the class of 1982. Garcia attended Miami-Dade Community College before earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and public affairs from the University of Miami in 1987. He earned his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law in 1991. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is the former U.S Representative for Florida's 26th congressional district.
Carlos Curbelo is a graduate of Belen Jesuit from the class of 1998. He attended the University of Miami where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and master's degree in public administration. He is a member of the Republican Party and is currently serving as the U.S. Representative from Florida's 26th congressional district.
Tom Llamas is a graduate of Belen Jesuit from the class of 1997. He graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and Drama and Speech. He is an Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC News "World News Tonight" Sunday, joining the network in September 2014 as an anchor and correspondent reporting for all ABC News programs and platforms. Tom is part of the ABC News political team currently covering the campaign of Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“Having our alumni participate in this very important debate on-campus and in front of members of the student body is a wonderful testament to their commitment to their alma mater and the value of a Catholic Jesuit education,” said Belen Alumni Association - Executive Director Mariano Loret de Mola.
“We are proud of this opportunity for Belen students to participate in a meaningful exchange with Belen alumni who are leaders in our community.  Their commitment to public service is an outstanding example of what it means to be Men for Others,” said Belen Alumni Association President Antonio Castro.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School – Roca Theater is located at 500 SW 127 Avenue in Miami, 33184. THIS DEBATE IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Only members of the media that have been credentialed will be permitted into the theater. A media pool will be in effect. All reporters who would like to sit in the theater during the debate must be credentialed by completing the online form, Limited seating is available.   
500 SW 127th Avenue, Miami, FL 33184
phone: 305.223.8600 | fax: 305.227.2565 | email:
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain.  The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline.  In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty.  The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow.  Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.