Rivera Consolidating Hill Support in Florida Open-Seat Bid

Posted April 13, 2010 at 11:10am

State Rep. David Rivera (R) is lining up some major Congressional support as the open-seat race in Florida’s 25th district has begun to heat up.

Rivera will be on Capitol Hill on April 26 for a fundraiser hosted by 31 GOP House Members including Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and several other GOP House leaders. Three Florida Republican names appear on the invitation: Reps. Tom Rooney, Bill Posey and Vern Buchanan. The $500-per-person event will take place at the Capitol Hill Club and benefit Rivera’s campaign.

Word of the event leaked just days after Democrats landed a top-tier recruit in their effort to put the 25th district in play this fall.

Former Miami-Dade County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Garcia, who came 6 points shy of knocking off Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) in 2008, is throwing his hat back into the ring this cycle. Garcia’s official announcement is expected this week.

The move by House Republican leaders to participate in a fundraiser might be a sign that the party is not expecting a contentious primary.

When the 25th district came open in February, state Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R) said he was considering running for the seat. But Portilla has yet to say he’ll run and Florida’s filing deadline is April 30.

Rivera jumped out early in the open-seat race and announced last week that he had raised more than $700,000 in six weeks of campaigning. That fundraising haul was a major reason he was recently named to the NRCC’s “Young Guns” campaign program.