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New Florida legislative seats draw old names: Gus Barreiro and Renier Diaz de la Portilla

A pair of familiar faces are looking to get back in the Florida Legislature this fall under newly redrawn districts. Two former Miami Republican state representatives, Gus Barreiro and Renier Diaz de la Portilla, have submitted paperwork to the state Division of Elections to run again for the Florida House.

"I'm excited," said Barreiro, who was in the House from 1998 to 2006 representing a coastal Miami-Dade district that included a portion of Miami Beach. He vied again for a seat in 2010 but lost in a squeaker to incumbent Rep. Luis Garcia, a Democrat now running for U.S. Congress.

This time, Barreiro will try for the new House District 112, which will likely include more of the southeastern mainland of the county and Key Biscayne. The redistricting maps are not yet final, though Barreiro said he expects any changes to be relatively minor.

Barreiro -- whose brother Bruno is a Miami-Dade County commissioner -- said he "very recently" bought a house in Miami's Silver Bluff neighborhood, in the heart of the new district, and plans to go door-to-door introducing himself to voters. "It's going to be very hard for someone to outwork me," he said.

Diaz de la Portilla currently sits on the Miami-Dade School Board and had originally filed for re-election before moving his campaign account late last month to the new House District 103, in northwestern Miami-Dade. He could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Before being elected to the board in 2006, Diaz de la Portilla served in the Florida House from 2000 to 2002. (He had also served on the School Board in the 1990s.) His brother Miguel represents a Florida Senate district formerly represented by a third brother, Alex.

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