The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democratic meltdown in Miami makes for easier re-election for David Rivera

3

April

The Miami Herald's Patricia Mazzei reports:

In a sign of Democratic struggles in Florida’s biggest county, Republican Congressman David Rivera’s main opponent dropped out, leaving no clear replacement to challenge the ethics-hobbled incumbent.

State Rep. Luis Garcia, who had struggled to raise money and accused top Democratic leaders of double-crossing him, left the congressional race for a Miami-Dade County commission bid at the urging of a top financier.

Garcia said he’s planning to leave the Democratic Party following a dispute with Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Steve Israel, who both recruited former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas to jump into the race. Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Congresswoman, disputed Garcia’s suggestion that she was rude or mean to him. She added that she didn’t betray him.

Meantime, Penelas hasn’t jumped at the chance to get back into politics. There are no other big names weighing a bid, putting Democratic leaders in a bind.

“They’re going to revive a couple of political cadavers that have lost other elections,” Garcia said. “They missed a big opportunity to take that seat back.”

Garcia wouldn’t name names, but at least one perennial candidate is weighing a Rivera challenge. Joe Garcia, no relation, who ran unsuccessfully against Rivera and Rivera’s predecessor, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, said Tuesday that Garcia’s exit has “forced” him to reconsider seeking the seat.

“I’m more than thinking about it, because clearly there are very few people who have the name recognition and the team and the possibility to put a campaign together for a United States congressional seat in a few weeks,” he said.

Also being recruited: Gloria Romero Roses, a Southwest Ranches businesswoman who has been active in Ruth’s List, an organization aimed at finding progressive, pro-choice women to run for office in Florida. She did not return alls seeking comment.

More here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:16pm]

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