Florida doctors back Daniel Perez in HD 116

Daniel Perez
Perez is facing a testy primary challenge in House District 116.

The Florida Medical Association’s political arm (FMA PAC) is backing Republican Rep. Daniel Perez as he faces an increasingly feisty primary challenge in House District 116.

Perez took over that seat in a 2017 special election before securing his first full term the following year.

“Rep. Daniel Perez has been a true friend of medicine during his time in the Florida House,” said FMA PAC President Doug Murphy.

“He has established many strong relationships with the physician community all over the state and the FMA PAC is enthusiastically endorsing his re-election in House District 116.  We believe Rep. Perez is a strong leader and will continue working hand in hand with the physician community to address the complex healthcare issues facing our state.”

Added Perez, “I look forward to the opportunity to return to Tallahassee and continue fighting for Florida’s physicians and all the blessings they provide to this state.”

The FMA is one of the state’s largest pro-medicine groups and represents medical and osteopathic physicians throughout Florida. The group’s political arm was set up in 1974 and offers endorsements to members of both parties.

Army veteran Gabriel Garcia is challenging Perez for the Republican nomination.

Perez is in line to be the House Speaker in the 2024-26 term, which might normally brunt the effectiveness of a primary challenge. Indeed, Garcia has not courted any outside donations and has added just $7,000 in loans to his campaign.

However, a political action committee with ties to outgoing House Speaker José Oliva has been releasing attack ads hammering Perez. Oliva, like Perez, represents a district covering part of Miami-Dade County.

Oliva said he sent money to that PAC, Citizens for Ethical and Effective Leadership, to go after Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Alex Penelas — not Perez. Still, he declined to answer direct questions as to whether he backs the attacks on Perez and has taken blame from Republicans who back Perez.

Oliva is departing the House next year due to term limits.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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