Florida: David Rivera Gets Democratic Opponent

Rep. David Rivera has a new Democratic opponent. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Rep. David Rivera has a new Democratic opponent. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:28am

Embattled freshman Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) picked up a Democratic opponent today, after losing one last week.

Real estate businesswoman Gloria Romero Roses announced her candidacy for Florida’s southern 26th district this morning, seven days after state Rep. Luis Garcia (D), who got in a very public tussle with national Democratic figures, dropped his bid.

“Florida’s growth has been stagnant coming out of this downturn in part because Congressman David Rivera has been too focused on defending himself in his ongoing scandals rather than fighting for jobs and strengthening our small businesses,” Roses said in a statement, embracing hyperbole.

In October, Roll Call confirmed that Rivera was under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for “alleged financial improprieties,” but in December, the Miami Herald reported the probe had stalled.

Roses’ announcement was sent out by the Florida Democratic Party, a not-so-subtle hint that she has the backing of Tallahassee Democrats. Republicans, meanwhile, have kept Rivera at arm’s length and he has struggled mightily to raise money.

Rivera raised just $42,000 in the last quarter of 2011 and had just $93,000 in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Still, Sunshine State Republicans were in awe this morning at the Congressman’s good fortune in Garcia’s fall and the fact that Roses, whom they don’t see as a strong candidate, will likely be his opponent in November in the newly configured Republican-leaning district.

“David Rivera is the luckiest bastard in politics,” one Florida GOP operative said.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.