Miami state Rep. David Rivera has announced his intentions to run for the congressional seat that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is leaving (to run for his brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart's seat). But Rivera isn't putting the kybosh on his state Senate campaign. At least not yet.
Rivera was at one point running full bore for the Senate seat, which fellow Republican Miami Rep. Anitere Flores will waltz into if Rivera commits to running for Congress. But Rivera seems to be keeping his options open. Qualifying for state office ends noon June 18, while qualifying for federal office comes near the end of session at noon April 30.
So will he run for state Senate?
"I can't forsee that happening. But I guess anything is possible in politics," said a coy Rivera.
Rivera is already hitting up lobbyists (they say) telling them he needs to raise about $1 million to send signals to Washington that he's the real deal. One lobbyist tells us it's a dicey position for Rivera to be in, considering the fact that he's the House budget chief and fundraising is banned during the legislative session -- but only for the state office, not the federal office he seeks. Rivera filed his congressional paperwork Tuesday, the first day of session.
Meantime, folks tell us that Rivera fliers are hitting some Miami-Dade mailboxes. Pretty early to be spending money, regardless of the race. But It's a good way for Rivera to boost name ID and squeeze off some of his state campaign's corporate cash, which is largely banned in federal races. At a certain point, federal fundraising rules might ultimately require him to give up his post as the head of Miami-Dade's Republican Executive Committee, where the executive director is said to be moving to Rivera's campaign.
Then there's the matter of Senate Republican leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla. He strongly implies he'll run. But he hasn't filed while Rivera appears to be hitting the ground, running.