07/11/2014 03:02 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2014

David Rivera Suspends Bid For Congress After Florida Redistricting Decision


Disgraced former U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R) announced Friday he was suspending his bid for the congressional district he once represented.

Rivera, who lost to Democrat Joe Garcia in 2012, cited a Thursday court ruling holding that the Florida Legislature illegally redrew boundaries defining congressional districts to benefit the GOP in 2012. It requires the state's 5th Congressional District, held by Rep. Corrine Brown (D), and 10th Congressional District, held by Dan Webster (R), to be redrawn. Districts affected by the subsequent adjustments also will need to be redrawn.

"As a congressional candidate affected by this decision, I will not be held hostage by Florida’s liberal activist judges," Rivera said in a statement, according to The Miami Herald.

Rivera still faces a federal investigation for allegedly financing a ringer candidate in the Democratic primary of 2012 to run against his rival, Garcia. Rivera defeated Garcia in 2010, but lost to him two years later after the allegations were made public.

Justin Lamar Sternad, 35, said Thursday he was duped by Rivera and a GOP consultant to run as a straw candidate in order to challenge Garcia. He was sentenced to seven months in prison for violating federal election law.

“I hate to admit that I was naive,” he said in court. “I hate to admit that Ana Alliegro and David Rivera were able to take advantage of me.”

In his statement on Friday, Rivera said he intends to run for the Florida House of Representatives in 2016.

CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect Rivera funded a fake candidate in the 2012 election, not 2010.



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