Democrats land recruit to challenge Rep. Rivera

Democrats have eyed Rivera’s Miami-area district as a major pickup opportunity, especially in light of ethics allegations that continue to hobble the freshman Republican.

But their first pick, state Rep. Luis Garcia, struggled to raise funds and lost the faith of House Democrats, who started eyeing other candidates, including former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas (D).

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That led Garcia to accuse Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) of working to undercut him, and to call the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “double-crossers, connivers and cowards” in an interview with the Miami Herald. (Wasserman Schultz and the DCCC said they were reaching out to interested candidates, as they do with all competitive races.)

Penelas turned down a bid for the seat, leaving Democrats with no good options in a district where they should be competitive — especially as they seek to flip about two dozen seats in their quest to regain the majority in the House.

Roses does not have electoral experience or broad name recognition, which will complicate Democratic efforts to paint her as a top-tier candidate. Roses was born in Bogota, Colombia, and lives in Miami, where she is the managing partner of Nexus Homes LLC. The business does not appear to have an established website, but the Florida Democratic Party said the firm connects investors with assisted-living operators to expand options for elderly Floridians and their families.

Roses is also active in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and with Ruth’s List, a group that supports Democratic women in Florida who favor abortion rights.

“Whether it was dealing with overcrowding in public schools or empowering parents and business leaders to lead through change with their advocacy, I have solved tough challenges and brought people together to remove barriers and focus on building the greatest talent pipeline in the country as a basis for growing our economy,” Roses said.