Rivera Wins Congressional Seat in West Miami-Dade Over Garcia
Nasty campaign ends with GOP holding on to seat
Rivera defeated Joe Garcia, who did not concede defeat until after Rivera declared victory. The District 25 Congressional seat had been held by Republican Mario Diaz-Balart (who switched to another Congressional district held by his retiring brother, Lincoln) so it was not a net gain for the GOP in their Election Day takeover of the House. But both national parties poured money into the fight that turned extraordinarily nasty.
Rivera made a point in his speech to reach out to those who did not vote for him “because the campaign is over,” he said.
“For those who did not support my candidacy, I want all of you to know that my door will always be open,” said Rivera in his victory speech. “I will always be there to serve you.”
District 25 covers western Miami-Dade County all the way across the Everglades nearly to Naples in Collier County.
“David is going to be a great Congressman like Marco is going be a great Senator,” said Lincoln Diaz-Balart who played a key role for both candidates as he leaves office. “I’m just so proud of all of them and I’m really happy for America.”
Lincoln Diaz-Balart made the official introduction of Rivera Tuesday night at the podium in front of several hundred rabid fans.
“I think David ran a great campaign on the issues,” said Mario Diaz-Balart, whose seat Rivera now claims. Rivera had been dogged by questions about his role with Radio Marti and TV Marti, Rivera initially claiming he worked for USAID. But the government agency said that was not accurate, leaving critics to wonder where his salary came from.
In the end, the controversy was not enough to do him in.