David Rivera

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David Rivera
David Rivera, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded byMario Díaz-Balart
Succeeded byJoe Garcia (Redistricting)
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 112th district
In office
November 5, 2002 – November 2, 2010
Preceded byMario Díaz-Balart
Succeeded byJeanette Núñez
Personal details
Born
David Mauricio Rivera

(1965-09-16) September 16, 1965 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationFlorida International University (BA, MPA)
WebsiteOfficial website

David Mauricio Rivera (born September 16, 1965) is an American Republican politician from Florida. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for one term, representing parts of South Florida from 2011 to 2013.

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Rivera was born in New York City on September 16, 1965 and moved to Florida in 1974. Both his father, a cab driver, and his mother Daisy, a driving instructor, had fled Cuba after the political rise of Fidel Castro.[1] He graduated from Miami Christian High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Political Science from Florida International University in 1986 and his MPA in 1994.[2]

After college, Rivera worked as Public Affairs Director for the Washington D.C.-based Valladares Foundation, an international human rights NGO. The organization was founded by U.S. Ambassador Armando Valladares, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Then, he worked for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting managed by auspices of the U.S. State Department. He has also been an adjunct professor in the FIU School of Policy and Management. His articles on U.S.-Cuba relations have been published in The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

In 2002, he ran for Florida's 112th state house district. He defeated Ray Gonzalez in the Republican primary, 52–48%.[3] He won the general election unopposed. He won re-election unopposed in 2004, 2006, and 2008.

In the Florida House, Rivera chaired the rules committee before serving as chairman of the appropriations committee from 2009 to 2010, where he pushed to create new professional schools at FIU and helped the Miami-Dade delegation work within a tight state budget. “We are all geared toward finding cost savings,” he explained to the Herald. Alongside his support for tax-free back-to-school shopping holidays, Rivera sponsored a measure forbidding places of higher education in Florida from sponsoring and paying for research trips to Cuba.[4] And it was Cuba, perhaps more than any other issue that emerged as Rivera’s main issue concern in Tallahassee: “It’s the most important issue to me,” he said in the winter of 2004. “I think every Cuban American from whatever walk of life has a moral obligation to continue the cause of a free and Democratic Cuba.[5]

In addition to his legislative office, he has served the Republican Party as State Committeeman for the Republican Party of Florida and as the Executive Director for the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County.[6][7]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

In January 2009, Rivera filed to run for the state senate seat being vacated by J. Alex Villalobos.[8] However, when neighboring U.S. Congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart decided not to run for another term in 2010, his brother, U.S. Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart, opted to run for a new term in Lincoln's district rather than his current one. This created an opening in the seat and prompted Rivera to announce he would run for Florida's 25th congressional district on February 25, 2010. On August 24, he won the Republican primary with 63% of the vote.[9] On November 2, Rivera defeated Democratic nominee Joe Garcia 52%–43%.[10]

2012

Redistricting resulted in Rivera's district being renumbered as the 26th district. It lost its share of Collier County and picked up the Florida Keys, as well as portions of Miami-Dade County. While the old 25th leaned Republican, the new 26th is more of a swing district and is equally split between Democrats and Republicans. In a rematch from 2010, Garcia defeated Rivera 54%–43%.[11][12]

Committee assignments[edit]

Later career[edit]

In May 2014, Rivera announced he would run for Congress again.[13] He was defeated in the Republican primary, coming in fourth place with 7.5% of the vote.

In March 2016, David Rivera announced he would run for the open state house district 118, but lost to Democrat Robert Asencio by 53 votes.[14] In March 2017, Rivera announced he would run for the state house again in 2018, this time in neighboring district 105.[15]

In April 2012, Rivera initiated a scheme to secretly fund candidate Justin Lamar Sternad in the Democratic primary as a way to weaken his eventual 2012 general election opponent, Joe Garcia, when he met with his associate, Miami campaign consultant Ana Sol Alliegro, and directed her to approach Sternad with an offer to provide financial support to his primary campaign. At Rivera’s direction, Alliegro spent the next few months acting as an intermediary, transmitting funds to Sternad, the Sternad political action committee, and vendors providing services to Sternad’s committee. Rivera funneled nearly $76,000 to the Democratic ringer candidate.[16]

The FEC accused Rivera of illegally making contributions in the name of another person when he made multiple cash payments to third-party vendors providing services to the Sternad campaign from approximately July 14, 2012 to August 8, 2012. Rivera also took steps to hide his identity and directed others not to disclose him as the true source of those cash payments, the FEC complaint stated.

Rivera’s illegal activity was also the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Southern Florida. Sternad and Alliegro pleaded guilty to criminal charges for their roles in the scheme.[17]

On March 24, 2022, a federal judge ruled against his appeal of the $456,000 judgment against him tied to his federal elections campaign violations. It is one of the top-15 largest fines ever handed down by the FEC.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RIVERA, David". US History, Art & Archives. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  2. ^ "RIVERA, David". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  3. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL State House 112-R Primary Race - Sep 10, 2002". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  4. ^ "RIVERA, David". US History, Art & Archives. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  5. ^ "RIVERA, David". US History, Art & Archives. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  6. ^ "Full Biography | Congressman David Rivera". Rivera.house.gov. Archived from the original on 2011-04-06. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  7. ^ "David Rivera: Biography". davidrivera.org. 2002-11-05. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  8. ^ "THE BUZZ: FLORIDA POLITICS. St. Petersburg Times. January 21, 2009. Online. February 25, 2009". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2011-04-07.(subscription required)
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 25 - R Primary Race - Aug 24, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL - District 25 Race - Nov 02, 2010". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  11. ^ "THE TOP ELECTION 2012 HEADLINES FROM NBC 6 SOUTH FLORIDA AND NBC NEWS". nbcmiami.com. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - FL District 26 Race - Nov 06, 2012". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
  13. ^ "Under federal investigation, ex-Rep. David Rivera announces he'll run for congress again". Miami Herald. May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 5, 2014.
  14. ^ "David Rivera says he's running for Florida House again | Miami Herald". Miami-Herald.
  15. ^ "David Rivera files to run for office, again". Miami Herald. March 30, 2017. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  16. ^ "Former Florida congressman fined $456K for campaign scheme". Politico.
  17. ^ "Ex-Congressman Rivera loses 'last ditch' move to avoid huge campaign fine". 28 March 2022.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 25th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative