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GOP state House candidates waffle on Trump -- except for David Rivera


A hush fell over the audience at the Kendall Federation of Homeowners Associations candidate forum Monday night when three Republican state House candidates were asked if they support presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Carlos Pria, a Doral dentist clad in scrubs, argued "that is a personal question."

With that, the audience erupted. 

"Don't answer the question!" an audience member shouted at Pria. "It's important to know!" another exclaimed.

Steven Rojas Tallon, a small business owner, also demurred on his support of Trump: "It's a very personal question, but there are a lot of things he said that I vehemently disagree with." 

Only one of the candidates had no problem answering: former U.S. Rep. David Rivera.

He casually took the microphone, leaned back in his chair and said with a grin: "Yes, because I don't trust Hillary [Clinton] as far as I can throw her."

A few audience members whooped in response.

Some Miami-Dade County Republicans have had trouble supporting Trump, who wants to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border and severely limit immigration. U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said they will not vote for Trump, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will support him.

Rivera, Pria and Rojas Tallon appeared at Monday's forum and none chose to attack each other.

"The media and the bloggers, they focus on the mudslinging," Rivera said.

Two other Republicans on the ballot, former county commissioner Lynda Bell and small business owner Anthony Rodriguez, were not present. District 118 leans Republican and encompasses a narrow but densely populated portion of Central Miami-Dade.