With 80 percent of District 26 precincts reporting, Democrat Joe Garcia led with 53.9 percent of the vote.
"I think what helped us is we were talking about what's important to the people of our community. That had resonance, and thank God, the end of the night, I think people saw us as someone who was trying to solve problems and I think that's why they favored us with their vote tonight," Garcia said Tuesday.
"I've been serving this community for almost, really 25 years, and whether I'm in Congress, out of Congress, in public office or out of public office, I'm going to continue to serve the community. I'm going to get with my friends and my family and my supporters and see what the best role is for me the next two years to be serving this community, whether it's in public office or not," Rivera said Tuesday.
The embattled Miami congressman was out-fundraised more than 2-to-1, saw his district's lines be redrawn in a way seen more favorable to Garcia and, more than anything else, was seeking re-election under a cloud of ethical lapses.
Sources have told Local 10 that Rivera is under federal investigation into whether Rivera funneled more than $60,000 to Justin Lamar Sternad's campaign. Sternad ran in the Democratic primary against Garcia.
Rivera didn't rule out running again for the District 26 seat in 2014.
Garcia had also run against Rivera in 2010. He goes to Washington representing the Florida Keys and mostly suburban and rural parts of Miami-Dade and Collier counties.
Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.