A new candidate has announced her plans to take on incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera, who is under state and federal investigation over his finances.
Gloria Romero Roses has never run for elected office before, but she's putting her bet on Florida's 26th Congressional District seat.
"What they need to know is that I'm a fighter. I'm a strong, ethical leader who believes in results-driven collaborations, and I aim to fight for middle-class families," Roses said.
Roses is challenging Rivera, who has been dogged recently by ethical and criminal investigations over campaign finance spending. He denies any wrongdoing and has never been charged. But, the allegations and a redrawn congressional map that favors Democrats have put Rivera in a vulnerable spot.
"That distraction has burdened and has undermined how our community has come out of this downturn," Roses said.
The longtime Democrat is a graduate of the business school at Florida International University, which she said gives her an advantage in tackling real-world issues.
"I'm going to bring in my real-world business results-driven approach to doing things," Roses said.
Roses was born in Bogota, Colombia. She served on a housing committee with the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and is now a managing partner of a business called Nexus Homes. The wife and mother has also worked in real estate, which she believes has taught her how to rebound South Florida's weak housing market.
"At the end of the day, I'm a businesswoman. I've lived and breathed real estate, so I understand it and I also see the opportunities for how we can expand upon that and, more importantly, diversify from it," Roses said.
Roses now has the backing of the Florida Democratic Party after a failed effort to get former Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Pinelas to run and after state Rep. Luis Garcia dropped out to run for a Miami-Dade Commission seat.
Right now, Rivera serves the 25th Congressional District, but he would be re-elected to the newly created 26th District because of redrawn maps.
Roses and Rivera will square off in November.