One of the last people to whisk through the state Division of Elections on the last day of candidate qualifying Friday was a familiar face: Alex Diaz de la Portilla, a former Senate majority leader who filed papers seeking a return to the Legislature in the House in District 112, an open seat in Miami-Dade.
He enters a Republican primary against former Rep. Gus Barreiro and Eric Padron. Two Democrats also filed for the seat, Alex Dominguez and Jose Javier Rodriguez. It's the only legislative seat in Miami-Dade with contested primaries in both parties.
Diaz de la Portilla, 47, at one point was eyeing a Senate seat in North Miami-Dade, but that seat is likely to be held by Democrat Gwen Margolis. "That district is obviously not favorable to me," he said. "You have to be realistic in politics. Sen. Margolis is an institution. She always has been."
As for his House candidacy, he said: "I'm excited about it. I think it's important to bring some experience and some institutional knowledge back to the process in the House." The Miami-Dade political consultant previously served in the House from 1994-2000, followed by 10 years in the Senate.
Alex DLP's brother, Miguel, was re-elected to the Senate without opposition Friday. A third brother, Renier, who previously served in the House, qualified as a Republican candidate in House District 103.
-- Steve Bousquet