Rep. David Rivera's Connections to Suspected Ringer Candidate Justin Lamar Sternad Deepen
Justin Lamar Sternad, a political unknown who makes $30,000 a year at a hotel front desk job, emerged as a candidate in the Democratic Primary in Rivera's district. He avoided attacking Rivera, but spent thousands going after Joe Garcia, the candidate who won last week's primary and faced Rivera in 2010.
Sternad claims his campaign was run by Ana Alliegro. Now, Riptide has uncovered social media evidence that Rivera and Alliegro appear to be close personal friends.
Sternad, who went by his middle name "Lamar" during the campaign despite starting off his run using his first name Justin, had a slight campaign. He made a single appearance on CBS4, and spent most of the time attacking Garcia. He refused to say anything bad about Rivera, nor any of the other Democratic candidates in his primary. He then sent out several flyers, seemingly specifically targeted at white, black and female voters. Many of those fliers directly attacked Garcia, highlighting similar talking points used by Rivera. In one he even used Barack Obama's familiar campaign logo, but reportedly the Obama campaign asked him to stop using it.
Sternad told the Herald his campaign was being run by Ana Alliegro. Sternad is also being represented by lawyer Enrique "Rick" Yabor. Yabor himself ran unsuccessfully in last Tuesday's election for a County Judge seat, and paid Alliegro as a consultant.
So who is Ana Alliegro? She's a local GOP political operative, and runs OnTarget Hispanic Marketing, Inc. According to a Herald blog post, she used to date Republican political Alex Diaz de la Portilla, and the Herald notes that on her Twitter she describes herself as a "Republican Political Guru and Conservative Bad Girl!" (Her recent feed, meanwhile, consists of a series of attacks on Joe Garcia, accusing him of being too close to Castro and violating FEC laws.)
Yet, her social media footprint goes far beyond Twitter. Her Facebook page, which currently features a picture of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan as her header image, leaves little doubt where her political allegiances lie. She also once used a picture of herself with David Rivera as a profile picture. How odd that a Democrat running to challenge Rivera would claim a woman who appears to be friends with Rivera was running his campaign. This was not a one time meeting.