What interesting timing. Just hours after LeBron James announced he was heading back home to Cleveland, allegedly crooked politician David Rivera had an announcement of his own. Rivera suspended his quixotic campaign to regain his seat in the U.S. House that he lost two years ago amidst scandal, and announced he'll instead run for a Florida state House seat in 2016.
That is if he isn't behind bars by then.
I have decided to suspend campaigning for CD 26 and will launch my candidacy to the Florida State House for the 2016 election cycle.
— David Rivera (@RepRivera) July 11, 2014
The news comes just a day after ringer candidate Justin Lamar Sternad was sentenced to seven months in prison. Back in 2012, Sternad, a political unknown, ran in the Democratic primary against Rivera's perennial opponent Joe Garcia. It turns out Sternad had accepted shady campaign donations, and his campaign was being run by long-time Rivera friend Ana Allegrio. Though he hasn't been officially charged, Rivera is suspected to have been behind the scheme and the FBI continues to investigate.
"I hate to admit that Ana Alliegro and David Rivera were able to take advantage of me," Sternad said at his sentencing.
Though, Rivera didn't mention any of that in his letter to supporters. Instead he cited a ruling from a Tallahassee judge on Tuesday that threw out the Republican-controlled legislator's congressional redistricting map. That decision however did not directly affect District 26.
"As a congressional candidate affected by this decision, I will not be held hostage by Florida's liberal activist judges," wrote Rivera. "After consulting with state legislative leaders and reapportionment attorneys, and pending further clarification of this court decision, I have decided to suspend campaigning for CD 26 and will launch my candidacy to the Florida State House of Representatives for the 2016 election cycle. There are just too many issues to solve in Florida, Common Core, Medicaid, economic development and others, to sit by and wait for unelected judges to decide the fate of congressional districts."
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His full e-mail can be found at Naked Politics, and includes the phrase "liberal activist judges" three times.
Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo was also running for the Republican nomination, and will now likely face Garcia in the general election.