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Future House speaker Richard Corcoran gets no opposition

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The next Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives appears to have received no opposition and should return to his next year.

Incumbent state Rep. Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican was the only candidate to qualify for his House seat Friday.

Candidates had until noon Friday to qualify to be on the ballot. A spokeswoman for state elections officials said she expects all of the candidate qualifying information to be finalized by Friday evening.

Corcoran, who represents District 37, is slated to be the Speaker for the 2017 and 2018 Legislative Sessions.

Oliva, who represents District 110, will follow Corcoran as the speaker for 2019 and 2020. He drew an today opponent in Democrat Carlos Puentes, Sr. of Hialeah.

That assumes the GOP maintains its controlling majority in the 120-member House after the 2016 election. It is expected to, currently holding an 81-39 edge.

Corcoran, 51, first elected in 2010, was chief of staff to then-Speaker Marco Rubio, now a U.S. Senator. Last Session, he served as the House budget chief. He’s an attorney and father of six.

Oliva, 43, first elected in 2011, is CEO of the Oliva Cigar Co. Most recently, he chaired the House Economic Affairs Committee and its select committees on Affordable Healthcare Access and Redistricting.

Chris Sprowls, a third state representative slated for the speakership after Oliva, will face opposition as well.

Bernie Fensterwald qualified as a Democrat, records show, and will face the incumbent Sprowls in the November general election for the Pinellas County seat.

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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