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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Opening salvo fired in Rivera v. Llorente



Drc_blk_3 Miami political consultant David Custin last night sent out a scorching attack on Rep. David Rivera, calling him "unfit to serve the people of District 38 in the State Senate" and pledging an all-out campaign to defeat him in favor of Rep. Marcello Llorente, also a Miami Republican.

"Whatever you do, I urge you NOT to commit to help or support David Rivera in any way, shape or form," Custin wrote to lobbyists. "By the time the Republican primary takes place in 2010, the electorate in SD-38 will be made clearly aware of Rivera's horrible record of using his political positions to put his own personal interests over that of this community. They will learn of Rivera's horrible voting record of putting the agenda of special interests above that of the people he was elected to represent.  And worst of all, the electorate will learn of his bad moral character and why he is unfit to serve the people of District 38 in the State Senate. All of this information will be documented and factual, and it will educate the public." (full text here.)

Custin, a lobbyist who has represented Florida Crystals and AT&T, is taking on a powerful man in Rivera, one of the House budget chiefs. But Custin has been in some tough elections before, representing Sen. Alex Villalobos among others.

Rivera, contacted this morning, said he had no comment on the letter, which hit e-mail boxes just after 11 p.m.

UPDATE: Rivera responds. “I’m overwhelmed at the positive response this has generated in the form of pledges of support at this early stage of my Senate campaign. It’s been particularly great for my fundraising. I pledge to nothing but a positive campaign focusing on what I have to contribute to the citizens of Florida and Senate District 38.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:11pm]


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