Democrats have finally found a candidate to take on vulnerable Republican incumbent congressman David Rivera. Her name is Gloria Romero Roses. She has no electoral experience, no name recognition, and doesn't even live close to the district. Oh boy.
Roses is a Colombian-born businesswoman with experience in real estate and now manages Nexus Homes, a company that works with the assisted living industry. She also makes her home in Southwest Ranches, the western Broward County hamlet.
Roses threw her name into the ring after former State Rep. Luis Garcia exited the race with bad blood between him and the national party (including DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz). Former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penalas was considering a run, but it appears that he's leaning against it.
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You'd think someone with a higher profile would want to run? Rivera is considerably vulnerable. His fundraising has stalled and he's under federal and state probes into his personal and campaign finances. His newly redrawn district will also now include the more liberal-leaning area of the Florida Keys, formerly part of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's district.
"As a real estate professional, I have seen the boom-bust cycle of our local economy that comes from our reliance on construction and housing to be the economic engine," Roses said. "Florida's growth has been stagnant coming out of this downturn in part because Congressman David Rivera has been too focused on defending himself in his ongoing scandals rather than fighting for jobs and strengthening our small businesses."
Political newcomers don't often get elected to House seats from Miami-Dade. Reps. Rivera, Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Frederica Wilson all worked their way up through the state legislature before launching their successful bids for Congress. Now retired Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Carrie Meek and Kendrick Meek all did the same.