As he puts scandal behind him and draws not-so-threatening challengers, Rep. David Rivera appears to be getting back in the good graces of the National Republican Congressional Committee now that the chair, Pete Sessions, and Texas Rep. Jack Fields plan to headline a June 5 fundraiser for Rivera in Washington. Download RiveraInvite
It's a turnaround from last July when the NRCC left Rivera's name off a high-profile fundraiser in Miami. Meantime, his longtime buddy and national Republican rock star, Sen. Marco Rubio, is helping him out.
Rivera last week was cleared in a state investigation tied to a payment he received from a dog track. He faces an IRS-FBI inquiry still. Meanwhile, Rivera faces the prospect of battling political unknowns and already-beatens this campaign season.
On the Republican side, Florida Keys businessman Doug Walker says he's ready to make a serious run. Though he has virtually no name ID, Walker is independently wealthy and said he could cut a $1 million to $2 million check to make his campaign viable.
On the Democratic side, Justin Lamar Sternad and Gloria Romero Roses are announced candidates. Both are political newcomers. Two-time candidate Joe Garcia looks as if he's ready to make a third run. Rivera beat Garcia in 2010.
Since then, Rivera has been essentially drawn into a more Democratic-leaning district. He has also been saddled with the probes into his finances and questions about how he has lived off his campaign money at times (story is here)
Bottom line: this race is no gimme. But Rivera's in pretty good shape, considering all the hits he has survived.