MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Former embattled South Florida Congressman David Rivera, under investigation in a campaign financing scheme, has filed the necessary paperwork to run for the 26th Congressional District seat.
He filed within an hour of the noon deadline Friday in Tallahassee.
During an interview on Spanish station MegaTV on Thursday night, Rivera announced he would try to take his old seat back from Democrat Joe Garcia who beat him in 2012. Rivera has been under investigation in the past by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for unreported donations during his time in the legislature.
He was voted out of office as the FBI and IRS continued to seek answers about his personal and campaign finances.
Rivera maintains his innocence and says no federal agency has publicly confirmed he is under investigation.
Congressman Joe Garcia, whose own former campaign manager was convicted on state charges, has not yet commented on Rivera’s decision to enter the race.
Moments after the announcement, school board member Carlos Curbelo, and Rivera’s future opponent put out a press release that stated: “I just got the news and wanted to make sure that you heard it from me: David Rivera is going to run for Congress again, despite being under investigation by federal agencies for serious allegations that, like Joe Garcia, he participated in a fraudulent scheme to influence an election. I believe that our district deserves better. We deserve someone who is looking out for us, not themselves. As I talk to the people of this district, it is clear that they are ready for a change. We deserve better, and that is why I am running for Congress.”
Former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Joe Martinez and Cutler Bay Mayor Ed McDougall will also be opponents of Rivera’s.