State Reps. Bryan Avila and Josie Tomkow have joined more than 60 other incumbent members of the Florida House in taking the first steps toward re-election in 2020.
Avila, a Hialeah Republican, has opened his campaign account. He’s running for his fourth and final term representing House District 111, which covers a portion of inland Miami-Dade County including parts of Miami and Hialeah, Miami Springs and the village of Virginia Gardens.
HD 111 has been in GOP control since it was redrawn ahead of the 2012 elections. Former Republican Rep. Eddy Gonzalez didn’t face a major party challenger in that cycle, and though Avila has gone up against a Democrat in each of his three runs, he has only failed to breach 60 percent of the vote one time — and only barely.
On Nov. 6, he routed Democratic nominee Rizwan Ahmed 62-38 to win his third term.
Tomkow, a Polk City Republican, is entering her first term of consequence in the Legislature — she cruised in a special election to replace former Auburndale Republican Rep. Neil Combee in House District 39 earlier this year, though she took office after the 2018 Legislative Session wrapped and had to run for re-election, although she never voted on a bill.
Her November contest was as successful as her special election victory. She netted 59 percent of the vote in her rematch against Ricky Shirah of Kathleen, a Democrat who often runs for office to give voters in the deep-red Osceola and Polk county district an option at the polls.
As of the end of December, 69 incumbent members of the state House had filed for re-election.
Additionally, 12 of the 13 state Senators eligible for another term have filed for re-election with the only missing incumbent being newly elected Republican Sen. Gayle Harrell.
Senate President Bill Galvano holds the other seven Senate seats up in 2020, Republican Sens. Rob Bradley, David Simmons, Lizbeth Benacquisto and Anitere Flores as well as Democratic Sens. Oscar Braynon Bill Montford, all of whom are facing term limits.