The latest twist in the bizarre Republican race for Florida’s 26th congressional district came last week when some voters received automated phone calls from the candidate who’s supposedly no longer campaigning for the seat.
David Rivera’s recorded voice, older Hispanic voters reported, urged them to pick him and ignore “lies” in the news media.
Rivera emailed supporters last month to say he was suspending his campaign. But he never withdrew his candidacy, so his name still appears on the Aug. 26 primary ballot, along with those of Carlos Curbelo, Ed MacDougall, Joe Martinez and Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck.
That raises the odd possibility that Rivera, 48, could win after running a stealth campaign — avoiding questions about the ongoing federal criminal investigation into his alleged involvement in an illegal 2012 campaign-finance scheme.
Rivera, who has denied wrongdoing, did not respond Friday to a request for comment.
His foray into the race was fitting for the Kendall-to-Key West district, which has been fertile ground for controversy.