U.S. Rep. David Rivera may have another worry aside from state and local criminal investigations into his finances: His longtime opponents and rivals in Miami-Dade Republican circles.
Rivera has acquired a lot of them over the years, starting with former colleague and state Rep. J.C. Planas, a Westchester Republican who squabbled often with the sharp-tongued and crafty Rivera over the years. Planas said unnamed supporters and Republicans have asked him to run. And he might.
"We need representation from someone who doesn't have a cloud over his head," said Planas.
A big name and one-time political opponent in 2010, state Sen. Anitere Flores, isn't dampening speculation about a bid: "No comment on Congress," she said in a text message. "Right now, I'm focused on serving my constituents from the state senate." A good number of those constituents in Senate District 38 (which Rivera and Flores were both vying for before he ran for Congress last yeat) just happen to live in Congressional District 25. The battle between the two was shaping up to be a slug-fest. Maybe it was postponed till 2012.
Another big Miami-Dade name, state Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, has been whispered about as well. He said he wasn't thinking about running for Congress (or the state Senate presidency for that matter). But he didn't say he wouldn't run for the office, either. Diaz de la Portilla's younger brother, Alex, was a state senator before him (and ran briefly for state committeeman against Rivera in 2008) and his youngest brother, Renier, is a school-board member. Can you say name ID?
Another school board member, Carlos Curbelo, ran against Rivera for Miami-Dade Republican chairman and lost by only one vote. A former campaign aide for the former congressman who held the seat, Mario Diaz Balart, Curbelo is playing the most coy of the three.