Miami elects first Cuban-American Democratic representative
Source: Chicago Tribune
MIAMI (Reuters) - A campaign finance scandal may have cost a South Florida Republican his congressional seat and handed victory to his challenger, who will be Miami's first Cuban-American Democratic representative.
Incumbent David Rivera, a fierce opponent of Cuba's communist government, was beaten by fellow Cuban-American Joe Garcia in Florida's 26th District by a margin of 54 percent to 43 percent, according to local media, which cited preliminary results from elections officials.
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Rivera, a one-term congressman, was backed by fellow Cuban-American Republicans, including rising political star Senator Marco Rubio and veteran Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In a bizarre twist, Rivera allegedly tried to interfere in August's Democratic primary by funneling at least $40,000 in cash to the campaign of Justin Sternad, a virtually unknown candidate running against Garcia, according to Hugh Cochran and John Borrero, who worked on the Sternad campaign.