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Fla. House hopeful has ties to David Rivera

Rafael Perez, the former Marco Rubio aide we mentioned in an earlier post about candidates lining up to replace state Rep. Esteban Bovo, also has ties to U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

Perez was most recently in the news in our story last year about old attacks plaguing Rivera, a Republican former state representative and now congressman from Miami.

In his first Florida House run, Rivera was involved in a curious collision on the Palmetto Expressway with a truck carrying his opponent's attack ads. Rivera said the accident occurred as he was trying to retrieve a batch of his own mailers from the truck -- an account disputed by the mailing company's current owners.

Perez, a former Rivera campaign aide, told The Herald he picked up Rivera's mailers from the truck on the highway, but he could not recall any more details about the incident. Perez said the same thing Monday, after he announced his own House run.

"It wasn't that significant," he said of the incident. "I can't even remember what the mailer was about."

Perez said he was a volunteer -- "a peon" -- and did not think his involvement in the incident would be used against him in his upcoming race.

One other candidate has filed so far for Bovo's seat: Francisco J. Lago, chief of staff to Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño, an early supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.