Incumbent Republican Rep. Daniel Perez, a future House Speaker, has secured another full term in the House.
No candidates filed to run in House District 116, giving Perez a clear path to a third full term in office. That’s likely a wise move for anyone pondering a challenge to Perez. As of May 31, he was sitting on more than $2 million to defend his House seat, and would have pulled in overwhelming party and institutional support.
Perez first won the HD 116 seat in a 2017 Special Election to replace former Republican Rep. José Félix Díaz. He added wins in 2018 and 2020 to serve his first two full terms in office.
That 2020 contest featured an interesting wrinkle, as a political action committee with ties to outgoing House Speaker José Oliva was releasing attack ads hammering Perez. Perez emerged unscathed, however. And this year, the field cleared for Perez outright.
That leaves him one more election, in 2024, before securing the Speaker position for the 2024-26 term. Perez locked that position up in 2019, though of course, it’s contingent on both Republicans remaining in power Perez holding on to a House seat.
The former is all but certain, with Republicans in a strong position statewide and the current political winds likely favoring them. Locking in a third term only strengthens Perez’s position as well.
Perez had an impactful Regular Session earlier this year, the highlight being Perez fronting a Gov. Ron DeSantis-supported election package. He followed that success up during the second Special Session of 2022 by securing a deal on a Surfside-inspired condo inspection bill, which Perez had tried to pass during the Regular Session. Lawmakers got it done in May’s Special Session.
Perez was one of at least 30 candidates who coasted through qualifying day Friday to secure a seat in the Legislature.
The district covers a center-west section of Miami-Dade County, including part of Sweetwater and large portions of the county’s unincorporated Kendall, Sunset and Tamiami neighborhoods. Miami Dade College Kendall Campus and Florida International University’s Modesto Maidique Campus both sit inside the district, as does Dolphin Mall.