David Rivera holds meet and greet at Naples Chamber

In spite of Tropical Storm Bonnie’s swing by Florida, more than 20 people turned out to meet U.S. District 25 candidate David Rivera at the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Friday morning.

“I’ve been representing Collier County before the legislature for the past eight years,” said Florida District 112 Representative Rivera (R-FL) during the meet and greet. “Collier County has a special place in my heart.”

U.S. Congressional District 25 covers parts of Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, and is being vacated by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who was elected without opposition to his brother Lincoln Diaz-Balart’s District 21 seat. In February, Lincoln Diaz-Balart announced his intent to retire from congress.

It was that announcement, Rivera said that sparked him to run for the District 25 seat.

Both Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart reached out to me and asked me to run for the seat, said Rivera.

Since his campaign’s start, Rivera said voters have reached out to him and voiced their concerns about what’s going on in Washington.

“I can tell you people want to see some checks and balances,” he said. “So it’s going to be a campaign based on issue, at least that’s what I hope for.”

In addition to speaking about the economy and what change he’d like to see in Washington, Rivera said he is in favor of bringing Jackson Labs to Collier County as a way to diversify the county’s economy.

Naples resident Michael Stephen said he was impressed with Rivera and was glad to have attended the morning event.

“I think he has the right training and experience for the job,” said Stephen, 62.

Friday’s event was not the first of its kind, said Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Michele Klinowski.

“We’ve been doing this with any candidate that would like to come to the chamber of commerce, so that our membership has the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates themselves,” said Klinowski. “We had Rep. Rivera today, we had Bill McCollum last week, we are anticipating having Rick Scott next week. The date is tentative.”

However, the one thing the chamber will not do is endorse one candidate over another.

“We are non-partisan, so we don’t endorse candidates,: said Klinowski. “But we do encourage the local community to be civically engaged.”

Connect with Elysa Batista at www.naplesnews.com/staff/elysa_batista

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