Florida House Republicans name next leader
Rep. Daniel Perez said his goal is to make sure everyone has a say in Florida’s future.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/Gray Florida Capital Bureau) - For only the third time since Florida became a state, a Cuban-American is preparing to lead the state House of Representatives.
Rep. Daniel Perez, (R) Miami, was named “Speaker Designate” during a ceremony in the House Chamber Monday morning.
He will replace Rep. Paul Renner as House Speaker after the 2024 election if Republicans maintain their majority.
“The legislature, in my opinion, is the most important part of the success of the State of Florida,” Rep. Perez said.
The Miami Republican said when he’s at the helm, he’d like to see lawmakers take a step back to bring proposals that would work and benefit the entire state.
“I look at the greater purpose. What is the biggest picture we can do? What has truly made us so special? What has made us the free state of Florida? We have people moving here from all over the country for a reason. What got us here?” Perez said.
Minority leader Frentrice Driskell said she’s hopeful a Speaker Perez will be willing to work across the aisle.
“There were some good things he talked about in his speech, particularly with respect to persons with disabilities. He’s got that as part of his personal story, having a brother who has severe developmental disabilities. I’m hoping that’s common ground that we can work on, trying to remove and reduce people off this ADP wait list,” Rep. Driskell, (D) Tampa, said.
Driskell said she’s unsure how far that bipartisanship will go.
“I think this is always a big day for speaker designates. They give grand speeches with beautiful sweeping visions and then sometimes it’s more difficult to operationalize those things,” Driskell said.
Perez said his goal is to make sure everyone has a say in the decision-making for Florida’s future.
“I want every member here to have their own voice. I don’t want them to think there has to be a certain result or a certain outcome when they walk into the committee room or when they walk onto the floor,” Perez said.
If Republicans maintain a majority after next year’s election, Perez will assume the speakership in November during the organizational meetings for the 2025 legislative session.
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