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Beginning his career as a patrolman and detective with the NYPD in the South Bronx, Rivera then became an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. After graduating from law school he began to work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Homicide Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney's Office. He has been in private law practice since 1978.
First elected to the Assembly in 1992, Rivera is the current Chairman of the New York Assembly's Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task force and Assembly Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Developmental Disabilities. He remains the highest-ranking self-described Latino officeholder within the State Assembly.
It has been revealed in a New York Daily News article that in the 2010 election he will face a primary challenge from Bronx lawyer Luis R. Sepulveda. 
|New York Assembly|
|New York State Assembly, 76th District|