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UPDATE: David Rivera reaches "contender status"

A hot congressional race is beginning to shape up in South Florida: Dem Joe Garcia has left his federal job to run and state Rep. David Rivera says he reached a "major milestone" -- becoming the first candidate to qualify for the ballot by petition. Rivera has also reached "contender" status in the National Republican Congressional Committee's "Young Guns" program to help GOP contenders.

Rivera, says NRCC chair Pete Sessions, "is well on his way to building a winning campaign that will keep this seat in the Republican column."

Rivera said the Florida Division of Elections verified 4,004 petitions from Miami-Dade and Collier counties -- the requirement was 3,777. He says the campaign exceeded the requirement by more than 225 signatures in less than 2 weeks. "That tells me that voters are enthusiastic about my candidacy and I look forward to sharing my ideas for what I will do for them in Washington as their next Congressman."

Both presumed front runners are likely to have primary challengers for the seat that Mario Diaz-Balart is vacating -- after creating it for himself as a Florida House member. Luis Meurice, a member of the International Longshoremen's Association has said he'll run, and Rivera is being challenged by radio host Paul Crespo.

Comments

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johan

Joe Garcia should have got in right away. He is now running from behind and from what I hear he is putting together the same campaign team that got him beat in 2008 when conditions were perfect for Democrats. Even though it's now an open seat, I think Joe will have a harder time this go round. Democrats are very unpopular right now and so is the President (especially in FL), who they will tie Joe to considering he was part of the administration. Maybe I'm wrong, but Joe needs to come out with a huge fundraising quarter and distance himself from the president. I don't know how he could do that considering he worked in the administration. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Laz

I'm for true Democrat Luis Meurice because he is not a lawyer,right wing conservative like Rivera, and a liberal like Garcia. He has fought and stood up for working people in this community for over 31 years and will continue to do so in DC. He doesn't back down or submit to what Republicans or big business try shoving down our throats, as working people.He has proven to be a person of strong character and principle in doing and backing what is right,and fighting endlessly against what is unjust in our community.That's what we need in DC not David or Joe.

Vanessa

David Rivera v. Joe Garcia, wow could our options get any worse?

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