DeSantis sets dates for House District 118 special election

by | Jul 20, 2023



  • Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order on Wednesday night, setting the dates for a special election in House District 118. The district was previously served by Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin, who resigned after being appointed as Miami-Dade County’s clerk of court and comptroller.
  • The primary race for the House District will take place on October 3, followed by a general election on December 5, 2023, if necessary.
  • Two Republican candidates, Mike Redondo, a lawyer, and Christian Chavez, a firefighter, are running for the seat. Redondo has received an endorsement from potential future House Speaker Rep. Daniel Perez.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday night issued an Executive Order to set in place a special election for House District 118, which was last served by Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin.

Per the Executive Order, the primary race will be held on October 3, with a subsequent general election on December 5, 2023, if necessary. Fernandez-Barquin resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives last month after DeSantis appointed him to serve as Miami-Dade County’s clerk of court and comptroller.

The House District, which encompasses portions of Miami-Dade County’s southwestern neighborhoods, has drawn two Republican candidates thus far — Mike Redondo, a lawyer, and firefighter Christian Chavez.

Redondo, the early favorite among the pair, received an endorsement from potential future House Speaker Rep. Daniel Perez just a week after initially filing to run. The representative pointed to Redondo’s legal work and campaign platform, which asserts that Redondo will “maintain a pro-business climate” and “continue to build on Florida’s financial integrity.”

“Michael has always stood for what is right, tirelessly advocating for individuals in the face of injustice, and I am confident that he will bring that same level of determination to the Florida House of Representatives, defending Floridians freedoms and standing up for conservative principles,” said Perez in a prepared statement.

DeSantis issued the Executive Order just days after a Miami-Dade voter, represented by the ACLU Foundation of Florida, filed a lawsuit alleging that the governor had unduly delayed scheduling the election.

“His inability to do his duty leaves the constituents of District 118 without representation and threatens to deprive them of a voice in the halls of the People’s House during the interim committee weeks that begin in less than nine weeks and the 2024 session afterward,” reads the lawsuit.

DeSantis also set the dates for a special election in House District 35 on Wednesday after South Florida State College last month selected Rep. Fred Hawkins to serve as the institution’s next President. The district’s primary election will be held on November 7 and January 16 for the general election.

Several candidates, including Democrat Rishi Bagga, have already filed to run in District 35’s 2024 election, while others could potentially redirect campaigns to compete in the race.

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