POLITICO caught up Wednesday in the U.S. Capitol with Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said he doesn't plan to endorse former Tallahassee housemate David Rivera in the upcoming Republican primary for Congressional District 26.
"I'm not getting involved in that primary. Because I don't typically get involved in House primaries, especially in open races," Rubio told the publication. He plans to support the eventual Republican nominee in the November general election against Miami Democrat Joe Garcia, who defeated then-incumbent Rivera two years ago.
Rivera is under federal investigation in a campaign-finance scheme involving his friend Ana Alliegro, who helped manage the 2012 campaign of a little-known Democratic candidate named Justin Lamar Sternad.
Sternad has admitted that his Democratic primary campaign was funded with about $82,000 in illegal campaign contributions. He identified Alliegro as the source of money. The feds say she was aided by at least one unnamed "co-conspirator."
Rivera's entry into the race stunned the Miami political establishment last week. Two of his former House colleagues, Miami Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, had already backed Miami-Dade School Board Carlos Curbelo and said they would maintain those endorsements.
Shortly after Rivera's announcement, two of his ex-congressional staffers -- former legislative director Hector Arguello and former deputy district director Ariel Fernandez -- endorsed Curbelo. "We need leaders who can focus on the work at hand and actively represent the people," they said in a statement.
People close to Rubio have said they are none too thrilled about Rivera's latest campaign. Rivera and Rubio, both former state lawmakers, jointly own a Tallahassee home that, at one point, began to go into foreclosure.