Nearly 250 candidates are vying for state House and state Senate seats in 2020. Try as we will, Florida Politics can’t interview all of them.
Just like in 2016 and 2018, we’re again asking every candidate to complete a questionnaire we believe offers an interesting, albeit, thumbnail sketch of who they are and why they are running. If you are a candidate and would like to complete the questionnaire, email Jason@FloridaPolitics.com.
Today’s feature: Bruno Portigliatti, a Republican candidate for House District 44.
In 25 words or less, why are you running for office?
Our community needs someone with a business background to help us recover. We need a fresh perspective to help reopen our businesses, schools and communities.
I attended Dr. Phillips High School right here in HD 44. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish from the University of South Florida, a Masters of Business Administration from Florida Christian University and a Juris Doctorate from Florida Coastal School of Law.
What was your first job?
Aside from working with the family businesses from an early age, my first job was bussing tables on “Restaurant Row” here in House District 44 and working at Universal Studios.
Significant other? Kids?
Married to Stephanie Portigliatti. She is a registered nurse in the field of dermatology. We plan on having children in the very near future.
Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement?
Yes, I spoke with many in our area before making the decision to run. There were several that encouraged me to run, such as City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz, Former County Commissioner Pete Clarke, Business and Government Consultant Bertica Cabrera Morris, as well as local entrepreneur Rob Panepinto. I also received a lot of support from Speaker-Designate Sprowls and House Majority.
Who do you count on for advice?
My family, Commissioner Tony Ortiz, Tre Evers, Bertica Cabrera Morris, Rob Panepinto, Representative Mike LaRosa, Rep. Tom Leek, Rep. Colleen Burton, Rep. Rene Plasencia.
Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager?
Enwright Rimes Consulting.
Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate?
My entire family because they have always been my strongest supporters. They know my desire to live beyond myself and contribute in a significant way to my community.
Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government?
– Speaker Designate Chris Sprowls – for his pragmatic approach to problem solving, and for being a reliable and helpful resource to me since announcing my candidacy.
– Former Speaker Dean Cannon – for his successful trajectory in our State and unblemished reputation.
Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it?
I think because many elected officials have been in office so long that they have forgotten how the “rest of us” are forced to deal with the decisions that government makes. Many politicians also fail to fulfill the most basic function of service, which is to connect with the people and truly understand their needs. If elected, I’ll provide fresh ideas focused on limiting the size and scope of government, while ensuring our families and businesses have the tools they need to prosper. I also promise to live by the spirit of the term limit laws and not bounce back and forth to sidestep the will of the voters. There’s so much that can be accomplished in 8 years!
What are 3 issues that you’re running on? (You’re not allowed vague answers such as “education” or “improving the schools”)
First, I want to make sure we protect our individual liberties, such as being able to worship as we see fit. Second, we must safely open our economy and get people back to work. This will take real leadership, science-backed policies to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, and limited government regulations on businesses so that they can adapt and thrive. Third, it’s critical that we continue to improve our roads, sewers, water supply, and overall infrastructure.
What disruptive issue are you are interested in?
How automation, artificial intelligence, and the digital revolution post-COVID 19 will cause many of today’s jobs to vanish in the near future and herald the jobs of the future.
What does your legislative district need from Tallahassee?
Effective representation. In the areas where there is a role for government to play, we need help dealing with our roads, traffic issues, sewers, water supply, and overall infrastructure. Additionally, we need better representation in discussions that take place regarding tourism and budgeting needs. House District 44 is the most travelled district in the nation. With Disney, Universal, Sea World, the Turnpike, I-4, and International Drive located in this district, it is important that we have a seat at the table when discussing the future of travel and tourism in our state.
Who was the best governor in Florida’s modern history?
Governor Jeb Bush. During his leadership, our State made incredible strides in several areas, especially in education, health care and fiscal responsibility.
If you could amend the Florida Constitution, what would you change?
Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district?
My campaign consultant of course says emphatically NO! But personally, I think if a voter has a sign in their yard they are committed.
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
My to-do list for the day, Sunburn, and then my emails.
Where do you get your political news?
Sunburn, Real Clear Politics, and Sayfie.
Social media presence? Twitter handle?
In 280 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message?
I’m a Businessman, Educator and Servant-Leader, ready to roll up my sleeves to provide effective representation through bold leadership, common-sense, and integrity. My life’s mission statement is to live my God-given purpose while serving and empowering others.
Spending time with family, watching movies, playing sports, traveling, and personal development.
Favorite sport and sports team?
NBA – Orlando Magic.