Florida: Joe Garcia Mounts Bid Against Rep. David Rivera

Democrat Joe Garcia is mounting his third campaign to represent a Florida district today. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Democrat Joe Garcia is mounting his third campaign to represent a Florida district today. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted May 1, 2012 at 12:00am

Miami Democrat Joe Garcia has taken that old aphorism — if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again — deeply to heart.

Today, Garcia will officially announce his Congressional campaign against embattled Rep. David Rivera (R). It will be Garcia’s third campaign for Congress in South Florida in as many cycles. He lost to Rivera in 2010 by more than 9 points. In 2008, Garcia lost to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) by just over 6 points.

Before he can take on Rivera, Garcia will have to beat Gloria Romero Roses, a political novice, in a primary. Roses, who announced her campaign last month, has the tacit backing of the Florida Democratic Party. It’s unclear who will have the edge in the primary.

“We have all seen Washington politicians fail us. Right here at home we have seen what happens when a politician breaks that public trust, when they are dishonest and corrupt,” Garcia said in a statement. “I can not sit on the sidelines and watch this happen any longer. Today I am announcing our campaign for congress.”

Rivera has been under investigation for financial irregularities since before he took office, but the state recently announced it would not charge him despite evidence of significant ethical violations. He is still reportedly under federal investigation.

Despite that, the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has kept its distance from Rivera, is preparing to back him. In a surprising move, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) will hold a fundraising reception with Rivera on June 5.

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The NRCC confirmed the authenticity of this fundraising invitation obtained by Roll Call.

“Chairman Sessions is tasked with strengthening our majority, and a major part of that is ensuring that House Republicans have the resources they need to compete and stay on offense against Democrats,” NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay said in a statement to Roll Call. “We support Congressman Rivera and are helping him build a winning campaign.”

The news of the fundraiser was first reported by the Miami Herald.

Roll Call continues to rate this race as Leans Republican.