Who’s Running in the Florida House District 105 Primaries?

Election 2020

Republicans and Democrats will choose their parties’ candidates in Florida House District 105 Primaries next month.

Collier County voters live in one of three Florida House districts: 106, 80 or 105. Find your district here.

Only registered members of a party may vote in that party’s primary elections because Florida is a closed primary state. See my post, Party Affiliation and Florida as a Closed Primary State.

Just one Republican and one Democrat are running for the District 106 seat, so there will be no primaries. That race will be decided in November. See Get Ready to Vote in the August 2020 Primaries.

I wrote about the District 80 Republican candidates in my last post. The winner will face Democrat Laura Novosad in November.

Today, I look at the candidates running for the District 105 seat.

Please see How I Research Candidates and Six Things to Consider When Evaluating Candidates for how I approach writing these posts. I also asked the candidates to complete a questionnaire and included edited excerpts from their responses as well as links to the complete documents below.

After reviewing what I learned about each candidate, I close with a look at the money that is financing the campaigns and suggested next steps.

The Candidates

The candidates running for the District 105 seat are:

A recent Miami Herald article provided a nice overview of this race, described as “a tug-of-war between Republicans who want to defend the seat and Democrats who see it as a ripe opportunity to flip it blue.”


Pedro Barrios

Pedro Barrios
Pedro Barrios

According to his Twitter and Instagram pages, Pedro Barrios is “a Constitutionalists, TRUMPIST🇺🇸 & Candidate For State Representative,District 105. SWEETWATER,WEST DORAL,WEST MIRAMAR,THE HAMMOCKS & EAST NAPLES” (sic).

According to his website, Barrios is a child of Cuban exiles who came to the United States in the early 2000’s “for the opportunity of offering their son Pedro a better life.” They settled in South Florida in 2003 “because of its abundant diverse Latin culture.”

After attending Doral Academy Charter School and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida International University, he began his career as a social service worker in South Florida and opened HELPMEUP Foundation, through which he fed over 400 homeless over the course of a year. Eventually he received his Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Barry University while helping troubled veterans and teenagers as a volunteer with Switchboard Miami, a suicide hotline.

Since then, he has worked as a mental health counselor through community based programs such as Miami Bridge and AMIkids Miami, as well as a private practice.

His website says “I will protect our liberties, our freedom and our constitution at all cause. No Socialist agenda will fly under my radar!” (sic). It lists four Issues: Education; Economy; Environment; and Public Services.

Press Coverage

I could find no press coverage of Pedro Barrios.

In His Own Words

David Borrero

David Borrero
David Borrero

David Borrero has lived in District 105 for ten years. He has served as an elected Commissioner on the City of Sweetwater City Council since 2017 while also working for T&G Constructors, Inc., as a Project & Estimating Coordinator. He has Bachelor of Arts & Sciences and Masters in Business Administration degrees from Florida International University.

As Campaign Manager in 2016 for former District 105 State Representative Carlos Trujillo, he has had “thousands of conversations with people across our district” and “understand[s] the issues residents and businesses care most about.”

According to his website, three things he wants to accomplish if elected are:

  1. Ensure businesses have the best environment to grow and prosper;
  2. Ensure churches, synagogues and religious organizations do not lose their tax-exempt status and are able to practice their faiths and express their values without intervention from the government; and
  3. Establish criminal penalties for fathers in Florida who abandon their children or leave the responsibility of parenthood to single mothers.

He says that what differentiates him from the other candidates is that “From Collier County down to Miami-Dade, no other candidate knows better the needs of all residents in this district.”

Press Coverage

In His Own Words

Bibiana Potestad

Bibiana Potesetad
Bibiana Potesetad

Bibiana Potestad came to the United States with her parents from Cuba in 1995 when she was three years old. She says that “from a very early age, my calling has been to serve my community and help my neighbors, especially those with the greatest need.” She is single with no children, and lives in Doral, FL.

Potestad has Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degrees from Barry University, a Juris Doctor degree from Ave Maria School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2018.

She is currently an attorney at the Law Office of Jose R. Fernandez, P.A., which handles accident, injury, and wrongful death cases along with a real estate practice.

Her website’s tagline is “A New Generation of Leadership.” The website does not list specific issues or priorities but says that if elected, Potestad will “work tirelessly to protect you from tax increases and will combat the special interests that threaten our quality of life.”

Press Coverage

In Her Own Words


Javiez Estevez

Javier Estevez
Javier Estevez

Javiez Estevez was born in Miami to Cuban immigrant parents. He attended Miami-Dade Public Schools and graduated from Miami Coral Park Senior High.

He says he is proud of his heritage and of being a member of the LGBTQ community. Having volunteered on several campaigns including those for President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Javier found a deep love and passion for politics. Especially important to him is the need for equality, defending public education and ensuring his voters’ voices are heard.

In 2018, Estevez ran for this same District 105 seat. While outspent 60 to 1, he came within 417 votes of flipping the District. Much of the campaign was fought on the ground: he and his campaign knocked on over 4,000 doors and spoke to the voters about the issues that mattered to them.

His website addresses seven Issues, the first four of which are Healthcare; Economy; Protect Florida’s Families; and Education.

Candidate questionnaire responses

What diversity of perspective, attributes, knowledge or skills would you bring to the office that differentiates you or that the other candidates don’t have?

I have lived, and still deal, with many of the issues that my constituents deal with on a daily basis and am willing to speak up when necessary for my constituents. As the Legislative Liaison for my local Democratic Executive Committee, I have studied and learned bills and the process of passing one. With my experience as a community activist and organizer for the last 17 years, my constituents have told me what they need, and I plan on fighting for them and those issues every day.

What three things do you want to accomplish if elected?

  1. “Fix the District Cost Differential formula that decides the amount allocated to schools across the state. Many big school districts like Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier County lose out money that could help better schools and education standards;”
  2. “Pass legislation that holds polluters accountable for their actions. We need to protect our environment and water sources, but also make sure those that are damaging them don’t get away with it;” and
  3. “Ensure that we are using the money in the Sandosky (sic) Fund (Affordable Housing Trust Fund) properly and that we are working with local governments to make sure we start building more affordable housing for low income families and workforce housing to ensure that nurses, firefighters and teachers can live in the communities where they serve.”

A current public policy position he said he disagrees with is “the Anti-Sanctuary Cities bill passed in the 2019 Legislative Session. It was a targeted attack on undocumented and immigrant families. We need to focus on helping families across Florida build a better life, not scare them.”

The most important thing voters should know about him before making their decision in this race is that “We ran in 2018 and against all expectations came within 417 votes of winning. This is one of the most important and flippable districts in the state of Florida. I have proven that I am ready to do the work, I don’t quit and I will never stop fighting for us and our futures.”

Press Coverage

In His Own Words

Maureen Porras

Maureen Porras
Maureen Porras

Maureen Porras was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and moved to the U.S. when she was 7 years old. After graduation from Miami Palmetto Sr. High School, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (Minor in Psychology), and a Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law (2014). She is married and has six nephews “who we love dearly and consider our children!”

She says she is “a lifelong advocate for those whose voices are often not heard” and that she plans “to use my life experiences to make sure that the best interests of our communities are behind every decision I make as a legislator.”

Since 2016, Porras been with Church World Service in Miami, a nonprofit aimed at helping immigrants secure legal help. In 2019, she became Director of Immigration Legal Services in addition to her previous role as Managing Attorney. Before that, she was worked in positions of increasing responsibility at private law firms.

Her website discusses five Issues; the first four are “Criminal Justice Reform; Investing in Public Education; Preserving Florida’s Natural Resources; and Reproductive Rights.”

Candidate questionnaire responses

What diversity of perspective, attributes, knowledge or skills would you bring to the office that differentiates you or that the other candidates don’t have?

My background and experience as an attorney defending the rights of vulnerable populations has prepared me to serve the people of Florida. I have been fighting for families and immigrants for over eleven years. As the Managing Attorney and Director of Immigration Legal Services of a global non-profit organization, I have represented hundreds of families and immigrants; advocated for due process rights and human rights; built coalitions with community partners to provide charitable services to the community; and identified the different needs of our community and provided services in accordance to those needs. My leadership experience, work with the community, and training as an attorney will be transferred into my work as a legislator. We need proven leaders with demonstrable public service records to truly represent us all in Tallahassee.

What three things do you want to accomplish if elected?

  1. “Strengthen and properly fund our public education system;”
  2. “Strengthen environmental laws and improve our water quality;” and
  3. “Reform our criminal justice system and ensure equality for all, including women, minorities, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community.”

A current public policy position she said she disagrees with is “The recently passed parental consent abortion law. The law requires that minors obtain consent from a parent or obtain a judicial waiver before receiving abortion services. The law not only places an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion, but it potentially will subject minors to forced birth, abuse, violence, and undue influence. “

The most important thing voters should know about her before making their decision in this race is that “I am running to continue to represent our community and those without a voice. I am the candidate that will secure the necessary votes needed to flip District 105 this year.”

Press Coverage

In Her Own Words

The Money

Here is what the candidates for District 105 reported in the most recent Federal Election Commission filings (downloaded 7/31/20):

HD105 Primary Money

The differences between the Republicans and Democrats in terms of both fundraising and spending are significant, but in the primaries what matters is how candidates are doing compared to their same-party competitors.

Among the Republicans, Borrero and Potestad are evenly matched; Barrios appears to be barely in the game.

Democrats Estevez and Porras are evenly matched in terms of money raised and spent. While Porras has many big-name Democrat endorsements, Estevez has more than twice the number of donors and the experience of having previously run a nearly-successful grassroots campaign.

Next Steps

If you are a registered Republican or a registered Democrat in Florida House District 105, it’s time to decide who to vote for in your party’s closed primary.

Review the candidates’ websites and narrow down the possibilities based on what’s most important to you. Then do more research, using the links and references included in this post.

If you have questions, reach out to the candidates directly via the “contact” page/form on their website. If they don’t respond to your satisfaction when they’re running for office, how responsive will they be if elected?

When you’ve done enough research to feel confident about your decisions, you are ready to vote!

For election dates and details about how, when and where to vote, visit www.colliervotes.com.

And if you missed it, please read my post, Request a Vote-By-Mail Ballot Today. The last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot to be mailed to you is August 8.

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