Rep. David Rivera beat out former Mario/Lincoln Diaz-Balart campaign spokesman Carlos Curbelo in a 61-60 vote to become chairman of Miami-Dade's Republican Party.
Many of Rivera's fellow legislators voted against him, including Hialeah Sen. Rudy Garcia, who seconded Curbelo's nomination.
But neither Sen. Alex Villalobos nor Alex Diaz de la Portilla (both Curbelo supporters) showed. A big reason: Rivera supporter and outgoing chair Mary Ellen Miller moved the vote date to tonight, giving the senators little time to make it back from Tallahassee to cast their votes. Miller cited scheduling conflicts, a late-filed lawsuit concerning party loyalty oaths and the holiday season for the Wednesday change of venue.
Rivera's win opened the way for former House Speaker Marco Rubio to fill his spot as party executive committee member. He was voted acting state committee man by his fellow Dade committee members, meaning he'll cast a vote at the upcoming Jan. 9 state party meeting where Chairman Jim Greer seeks re-election.