Senate Republican Leader Kathleen Passidomo is endorsing Bibiana Potestad in the three-person GOP primary for House District 105.
Passidomo has represented Senate District 28 since 2016. That district spans Collier, Hendry and Lee counties.
Passidomo is also in line to be Senate President during the 2022-24 term. The Friday announcement marks the first time Republican leadership has lined up behind a preferred choice in the HD 105 field.
Senate leadership was partly responsible for pushing incumbent Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez to ditch her reelection bid and pursue the Senate District 39 seat. That left the HD 105 race open just one cycle after Rodriguez first won the seat.
Potestad is competing against Pedro Barrios and David Borrero for the Republican nomination.
“Bibiana Potestad is a part of the next generation of conservative leaders who will keep Florida’s Republican Party on the right track,” Passidomo said in a Friday statement.
“I have no doubt that she will serve Floridians with character and integrity. I trust her to stand up for our Republican values and provide the leadership at the State House that our residents deserve. She has my full support.”
Potestad has raised the most money in the contest overall, pulling in more than $155,000. Borrero places second, raising just over $100,000. Borrero, however, narrowly leads in cash on hand. He has more than $66,000 still available as of June 26. Potestad retains just under $62,000.
Barrios is behind on his fundraising reports and has pulled in less than $3,000 overall.
That places Potestad and Borrero as the frontrunners for the GOP nomination. The primary will take place on Aug. 18.
Republican leadership is looking to field a strong candidate in the contest. Rodriguez won the seat in 2018 by just 417 votes over Democratic nominee Javier Estevez.
Estevez is pursuing the seat once again. He’s competing against immigration attorney Maureen Porras for the Democratic nod.
HD 105 covers parts of Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties.