Embattled former congressman David Rivera suspends U.S. House bid


Republican David Rivera speaks to supporters in Coral Gables, Fla., in November 2010. (Alan Diaz/AP)

Former congressman David Rivera (R-Fla.), who is under federal investigation, announced Friday that he is suspending his short-lived bid for a congressional comeback, citing a court decision that struck down Florida's congressional lines Thursday.

Rivera's decision is a boon to Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who was competing with Rivera for the Republican nomination against Rep. Joe Garcia (D). Rivera, who is under investigation by the federal government for potential ties to a campaign finance scheme, announced his surprise bid in May.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Rivera said he will instead run for the state House in 2016.

"As a congressional candidate affected by this decision, I will not be held hostage by Florida's liberal activist judges," said Rivera. "After consulting with state legislative leaders and reapportionment attorneys, and pending further clarification of this court decision, I have decided to suspend campaigning for CD 26 and will launch my candidacy to the Florida State House of Representatives for the 2016 election cycle."

A judge struck down Florida's congressional map Thursday, ruling that the Republican-drawn lines violate an amendment to the state constitution designed to curb gerrymandering. The judge singled out the the 5th and 10th congressional districts, represented by Reps. Corrine Brown (D) and Daniel Webster (R), for running afoul of the Fair Districts amendment passed in 2010.

But Rivera was running in Garcia's 26th district. He said the judge's decision created "great uncertainty" about what the congressional map would look like.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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