David Rivera Could Win Re-Election Despite Ethics Scandal

Aug 6, 2012

It stands to reason that an ethics scandal should put a damper on a political campaign.

But in South Florida, that isn’t quite the case. 

U.S. Representative David Rivera has been investigated by local and state officials for various ethics violations, but that hasn't put the kibosh on his bid for re-election. 

The Miami congressman is also under federal investigation for allegations that he misspent campaign funds.

At one point, Miami-Dade prosecutors had been preparing to charge Rivera with 52 counts of theft, money laundering and racketeering. But officials threw out those charges, arguing that state laws regarding campaign finances were too lax to formerly charge Rivera with wrongdoing.

Rivera is now running for re-election in the House, and he has a good shot at keeping his seat.

Dan Krassner, founder of Integrity Florida, a group that monitors public corruption, says Rivera's situation is not unheard of. “Integrity Florida definitely sees public officials that have ethics complaints filed against them, and even those that are known to violate ethics laws return to office,” he says. “Sometimes constituents are willing to hold their nose or look the other way at an official if they feel the official has delivered for their community.”

Rivera’s Democratic challengers have been battling it out over the past few weeks. Joe Garcia, Gloria Romero Roses and Gustavo Marin have been trading barbs via endorsements and mailers.

In November, Rivera will face the winner of that race.

The newly-drawn mostly Republican district stretches from Kendall to Key West.