With investigations ongoing and more shady ethics charges mounting up, freshman Republican Rep. David Rivera might not even make it until 2012, let alone run for election. If he does, he's in for one hell of a hard campaign. Politico has ranked the top ten most contentious house races for 2012, and Rivera's district 25 seat took the top spot.
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Most freshmen are rarely seen and hardly heard from in their first month in Congress. First-term Republican Rep. David Rivera, however, has made front-page news -- for all the wrong reasons. A series of ethical problems -- ranging from a questionable loan to unexplained campaign reimbursements -- has generated some exceptionally bad press, making Rivera, 45, a ripe target for national Democrats. Potential challengers in both parties are already lining up, and Republicans are drawing up contingency plans in case Rivera doesn't survive the year. "If he does limp out of a primary, it makes him an even softer target for us," a D.C. Democratic strategist said.
The fact that Rivera will probably face a primary challenger, if he even bothers running for re-election, is striking. No other current Miami-area congressmen has faced a serious challenge from within their own party in their careers.
Palm Beach-area Rep. Allen West also comes in at number four. The Tea Party favorites' moves since being elected have raised eyebrows for all the wrong reasons, which isn't exactly a good road map to longevity in such a contentious district.