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Norman Braman's pursuit for Miami-Dade candidates could shake up race against David Rivera

Seeking candidates to run for Miami-Dade County Commission, Miami auto magnate Norman Braman is trying to persuade state Rep. Luis Garcia to quit his run for Congress to challenge Commissioner Bruno Barreiro instead. That could create an opening for another Democrat -- former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, anyone? -- to run against Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

Penelas says he's still mulling over his options and leaning against a run. Garcia says he'll make up his mind in the next week. Read on:

After spearheading last year’s historic mayoral recall, Miami businessman and civic activist Norman Braman is lining up a slate of candidates “interested in reform’’ to challenge four powerful Miami-Dade commissioners and fill a fifth open seat in the August race.

Braman told The Miami Herald Friday he is urging state Rep. Luis Garcia to abandon his bid for U.S. Congress and to go up against District 5 Commissioner Bruno Barreiro — a move Garcia confirmed he is weighing.

Braman also is actively soliciting prospective candidates to run against Commissioners Barbara Jordan in District 1, Audrey Edmonson in District 3 and Dennis Moss in District 9, and is in talks with Juan Carlos Zapata about supporting him in his bid to fill the District 11 seat that will open because Commissioner Joe Martinez is running for mayor.

Braman, a wealthy auto magnate, led and financed the dramatic March 2011 ouster of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez and helped bankroll the simultaneous recall of Commissioner Natacha Seijas, a campaign that was led by Miami Voice, a political action committee. More here.