Incoming Rep. David Rivera is picking a chief of staff with deep ties to Capitol Hill -- and Miami.
Steve Vermillion, a former chief of staff to retiring Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, will run the office, sources say. Vermillion lived in Miami in the 1960s -- (his father was a 35 year veteran of the CIA) -- and is fluent in Spanish. And like Rivera and Rivera's Democratic rival, Joe Garcia, Vermillion once worked for the Cuban American National Foundation -- as director of congressional affairs in the late 1980s.
Vermillion attended the University of Miami's Graduate School of International Studies and was chief of staff to Diaz-Balart when the Miami Republican came to Washington in 1993. He's also worked as a military/national security advisor to former Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner and as communications director to former appropriations committee chair Rep. Bob Livingston. He has most recently worked as a lobbyist for ObjectVideo, a company that makes video surveillance software. Rivera once reported working as a consultant for the company on his financial disclosure forms that were called into the question during the campaign.