Republican candidate, Florida House District 45
Never held elective office.
University of South Florida, B.A., Political Science and Spanish, 2010
Florida Christian University, M.S., Business Administration, 2014
Florida Coastal School of Law, J.D., 2013
Bruno Portigliatti, a state House candidate twice before and president of the private Florida Christian University in Orlando, will face four candidates — Carolina Amesty, Vienna Francois, Janet Frevola and Mike Zhao — in the Aug. 23 Republican primary for the Florida House District 45 open seat that was held by state Rep. Geraldine Thompson, who is now running for the state Senate District 15 seat.
The winner will square off against Democrat Allie Braswell, who is running unopposed, in the Nov. 8 general election. The district represents northwestern Osceola county and southwestern Orange County, including Windermere, parts of Winter Garden, Ocoee, Gotha, Dr. Phillips and Walt Disney World.
In 2020, Portigliatti won the Republican primary for state House District 44 but lost to Democratic incumbent Rep. Geraldine Thompson in the general election. He also ran for the same seat in a 2017 special election. Fellow Republican Bobby Olszewski eventually won the seat.
Portigliatti is also CEO of a senior living community called Excellence Senior Living as well as a real estate developer and lawyer.
Florida Politics reported that the candidate plans to expand what he calls the “‘DeSantis Doctrine of Freedom First,’ referencing the policies and politics of Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
“This election will be about safeguarding the soul of America, our community’s economic prosperity, and a parent’s right to have the final say in their child’s health, welfare and education. Central Florida is ground zero in Gov. DeSantis’ fight against woke corporate America,” Portigliatti said in a news release. “As a bold conservative leader, businessman, and education advocate, I have been and will continue to lead from the front on that fight.”
At a July political forum, which was attended by Portigliatti and three of his Republican opponents, the four didn’t oppose the DeSantis-driven law repealing Disney’s special Reedy Creek Improvement District in retaliation for opposing the governor’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. Florida Politics said that Portigliatti chose his words carefully, not condemning Disney for political statements, but said revisiting the district’s status should be reviewed and called for level-headed discussions. It added that Portigliatti said “corporations all need to be on equal footing. He used the term ‘adult conversations’ — to resolve differences and harm no one.”
The Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, Florida Police Benevolent Association, Florida Medical Association, Florida Right to Life Political Action Committee and Florida Chamber of Commerce have all endorsed Portigliatti.