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Rivera-Garcia House race slow to launch, posts lackluster fundraising

Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera of Miami has been under a cloud of legal trouble since taking office, and it took a toll on the once-prolific fundraiser's campaign coffers this year. 

He took in just $26,500 in the third quarter of the year, and raised $42,100 in the last three months of the year, according to Federal Election Commission reports released Tuesday. That brings his fundraising total for the year to $188,759. 

Rivera, however, has just $92,832 on hand, and his campaign remains $154,080 in the hole. 
Right now, he faces Democratc state Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami, who outraised Rivera early on in the race when Rivera's legal troubles appeared to be at their worst

But at least one of the investigations may fail to get off the ground, and a new Hispanic-friendly map may help Rivera. He won't comment on the new maps -- which on Tuesday prompted a musical chair scramble among other South Florida congressional districts. He's "not saying anything until the Justice Department and federal courts certify," said his chief of staff, Stephen Vermillion. 

However, Democrats didn't include Garcia on their most recent list of red-to-blue targeted congressional districts. They do "want the district," though, said Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., the head of the committee charged with electing Democrats to the House of Representatives. 

"We're hoping that Luis is able to expand his base and continue to work hard so that he will be eligible for red-to-blue status in the next go-around," Israel said last month. 

Garcia raised $59,518 the final quarter of 2012, and a total of $163,063 since getting into the race. He has $61,594 in cash on hand, according to FEC reports. 

Garcia said he's excited to run in the proposed new district, which will include the Keys.

"We have a long way to go until Election Day, but I am confident the people of Miami-Dade County will choose my 30-year record of public service over Rivera’s ethically tarnished career," he said Tuesday in a press release.