In the end, it was the two political veterans that came out victorious in Tuesday’s U.S. Congressional District 25 primaries.
In the first ever Republican primary for District 25, Rep. David Rivera defeated Doral residents Marili Cancio and Paul Crespo. Rivera received a total of 17,956 votes, followed by Crespo with 7,702 votes and Cancio with 3,048 votes.
“I am humbled by the show of support tonight, and for the chance to continue fighting for our families, and for solutions that will create jobs for Congressional District 25. I thank my community for their support and for giving me the honor of being the Republican candidate heading into the general election,” said Rivera, who represents part of Collier County in his state legislative district, in a written statement. “Tonight begins a campaign between two very different people with different views and different motivations. My opponent is the ultimate Washington insider who defends the broken ways of Washington’s culture of corruption.”
In the Democratic primary, Miami resident Joe Garcia defeated Luis Meurice. Garcia received 11,673 votes, while Meurice got 3,661 votes.
“I am humbled by the support we’ve received today. Voters will have a clear choice between David Rivera’s scandals and record of tax increases versus my plan to cut taxes for the middle class, hold politicians accountable and record of serving our families with respect,” said Garcia, who ran for the seat in 2008.
Garcia and Rivera will face off against two additional candidates in November.
Whig party candidate Craig Porter and Tea Party candidate Roly Arrojo are also running for the seat on Nov. 2.
Created in 2002, District 25 covers the eastern part of Collier County, western parts of Miami-Dade County and some of Monroe.
The seat is being vacated by GOP Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who ran unopposed for his brother Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart’s District 21 seat. In February, Lincoln Diaz-Balart announced his intent to retire from office.
A total of 41,858 registered voters reside in Collier’s portion of District 25, of which 13,595 are Democrat, 17,474 are Republican, 8,791 have no party affiliation and 1,998 are registered as other.
On Tuesday, only 5,144 Republicans and 1,803 Democrats cast ballots in Collier’s side of District 25.
In Miami-Dade’s slice of District 25, a total of 325,953 voters are registered, of which 117,254 are Democrats, 115,619 are Republicans, 88,632 have no party affiliation and 4,448 are listed as other.