Several times, Congressional candidate Joe Garcia (Dem) has singled out State Rep. David Rivera (Rep) as his only opponent in the race to replace U.S. House Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (District 25), who wants to be Senator.
While the Republican primary campaign has taken a nasty turn with accusations (mostly undocumented or backed up and aimed at Rivera) about abuse of power, misstating controversial business alliances, taking money from special interests and a 16-year-old domestic violence case that was dismissed after the alleged victim -- who, again, told Ladra herself that it was not the politician in question -- the Democratic frontrunner has repeatedly ignored Paul Crespo (Rep) and Marili Cancio (Rep) as potential opponents in November. He did it months ago at a DFAM meeting in Coral Gables and again Monday night when he spoke for only a few minutes at the Kendall Federation of Homeowners Association's candidate forum.
"My opponent is going to raise more money," he said, not naming names.
One woman raised her hand and interrupted the Obama appointment to the department of energy, who resigned to run for the seat he lost two years ago.
"Excuse me. Who is your opponent? Because I thought there were two other Republicans in the race," said Roxana Chavarriaga, a Broward woman supporting Cancio. Garcia said he believes that he will be facing David Rivera come November.
Chavarriaga later told Ladra she was growing tired of the "lack of respect for the other two candidates." She is not alone in her complaint. Cancio thanked her on her facebook page:"Thank you to my supporter at the KFHA meeting that caled out Joe Garcia, who along with many others is taking the GOP primary for granted. Cancio Can 2010 has the common people on her side and will continue to campaign to win the primary in the next three weeks."
But it's not a GOP thing. Local Dems have come under fire for silently (sorta) supporting Sandra Ruiz against Johnny Farias, in the race for state house district 112, Congressional candidate Kendrick Meek against Maurice Ferre (a fact that the Ferre campaign has made bitter reference to on several ocassions) and the very Garcia, against Luis Meurice, in the District 25 run.
Ric Herrero, executive director of the Miami-Dade Dems, said at a recent Latin American Democratic Club meeting in South Miami that the party had the same resources available to every Democrat candidate and that it was every member's right to support whomever. But, he did concede that there was more support for some candidates because they were seen as the most viable against the Republican name on the ballot and they want to win as many seats as possible. That's the same thing JC Hernandez, head of the local Republicans, and Javi Correoso, a party loyalist, Rivera staffer and now campaign manager, says about Rivera vs. Garcia.
Just one more way the two different parties are the same and one more reason why Ladra is registered independent (less campaign hate mail is another really good reason).