Former Mayor Alex Penelas Could Enter Race to Take on Rep. David Rivera

Scandal-plagued freshman Rep. David Rivera is considered one of the most vulnerable Republican congressmen in the nation. Former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas was once an ambitious politician who seemed to have a bright future, but was marred by his controversial role in the 2000 presidential election recount and a failed attempt at a Senate run.

Now there's talk that Penelas could reemerge to take on Rivera this November.

Naked Politics reports that there are some early indications that suggest Penelas is eyeing up the challenge. His allies have already done some preliminary polling in the area, and they're already talking him up in the press.

"A lot of Democrats have recognized that Alex Penelas could bring a lot to the party, the bad feelings have subsided. He is well known and he has a strong track record of creating jobs when he was mayor," longtime friend Freddy Balsera told Naked Politics.

Penelas's problem with the DC establishment of the Democratic party date back to 2000 when he refused to campaign alongside Al Gore, and then did nothing when Miami-Dade halted its recount of contentious ballots.

Penelas launched a Senate campaign in 2004, but finished third, and didn't even win the county he had served as mayor.

But a lot of time has passed since then, and a big name could help Dems topple Rivera.

But what about former state Rep. Luis Garcia? He's already entered the race to take on Rivera, but Naked Politics reports that he could step out and instead seek a spot on the County Commission.

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Kyle Munzenrieder