|President pro tempore of the Florida Senate|
Assumed office |
November 22, 2016
|Preceded by||Garrett Richter|
|Member of the Florida Senate|
Assumed office |
November 2, 2010
|Preceded by||J. Alex Villalobos|
38th district (2010–2012)|
37th district (2012–2016)
39th district (2016–present)
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 114th district
November 2, 2004 – November 2, 2010
|Preceded by||Gaston Cantens|
|Succeeded by||Ana Rivas Logan|
September 8, 1976|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Florida International University (BA)|
University of Florida (JD)
Anitere Flores (born September 8, 1976) is a Republican politician who has served as a member of the Florida Senate since 2010. She currently represents the 39th district, which encompasses Monroe County and parts of southern and western Miami-Dade County. Prior to Flores' election to the Senate, she served three terms in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 114th district from 2004 to 2010.
Flores was born in Miami, and attended Florida International University, graduating with her bachelor's degree in 1997. She then attended the Fredric G. Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, receiving her Juris Doctor in 2001. After graduation, she worked for the Florida House of Representatives on the Education Policy Council, for then-Governor Jeb Bush as his Education Policy Chief, and as Director of State Relations for Florida International University.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2004, incumbent State Representative Gaston Cantens declined to seek re-election in the 114th District, which stretched from University Park to South Miami Heights in Miami-Dade County. With Cantens' endorsement, Flores ran in the Republican primary to succeed him, facing former State Representative Carlos A. Manrique, Victor Bao, Joel Bello, Lisa Sacco, and Luis E. Orta. Flores won the primary handily, receiving 56% of the vote, and advanced to the general election, where she faced businesswoman and Kendall community council member Millie Herrera, the Democratic nominee. Flores defeated Herrera by a wide margin, winning 64% of the vote to Herrera's 36%. Flores was re-elected without opposition in 2006 and 2008.
During her career in the Florida House, Senator Flores served as Deputy Majority Leader, Chair of the PreK-12 Appropriations Committee, and Chair of the PreK-12 Policy Committee. In order to increase college completion, she passed legislation that created a scholarship program for students who are the first in their family to attend college.
When State Senator J. Alex Villalobos was unable to seek re-election due to term limits, Flores ran to succeed him in the 38th District, which stretched from Doral to Homestead. She faced David Nelson in the Republican primary and defeated him handily, winning 81% of the vote to Nelson's 19%. Flores faced veterinarian Les Gerson, the Democratic nominee, in the general election. After vastly outspending Gerson, Flores won the seat in a landslide, receiving 68% of the vote to Gerson's 32%.
Following the reconfiguration of the state's legislative districts, Flores ran for re-election in the 37th District, which contained most of the territory that she had previously represented. She was unopposed in the Republican primary and the general election, and won her second term uncontested.
As a member of the Florida Senate, Senator Flores is presently Chair of the Fiscal Policy Committee, and sits on the Budget Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, the Ethics and Elections Committee, the Health Policy Committee, the Regulated Industry Committee, and the Appropriations Committee. From 2010-2012, Senator Flores also served as the Majority Whip. In the Senate, she has championed several issues important to South Florida, including working towards finding affordable options for property insurance.
Senator Flores also serves on various national and community boards. She is a member of the National Assessment Governing Board (a bipartisan board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress-NAEP), the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (a leadership organization of the Hispanic elected and appointed public officials in the United States), and the Board of Spectrum Programs, Inc. (a drug and mental health service organization).
Senator Flores is the first Republican Hispanic woman to serve in both the Florida House and Senate since 1986. Due to her unwavering support of education, the American entrepreneurial spirit as well as the elderly, she was most recently recognized in The Huffington Post’s “40 under 40: Latinos in American Politics.”
In 2015, litigation concerning Florida Senate maps was resolved with an admission by the Senate that the maps violated the Fair Districts provision of the Florida Constitution. Following the inability of the legislature to create and pass new maps into law, the Florida Supreme Court selected maps drawn by the League of Women Voters of Florida. Consequently, Flores' home was drawn into the 40th District, the same district in which fellow State Senator Dwight Bullard lived. Flores decided to run for re-election in the 39th District instead, given that she was raised in that district and previously represented portions of it. Flores defeated Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the general election, 54 to 46%.
During the opening of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session, Flores and Democratic Florida legislator Oscar Braynon jointly apologized for an extramarital affair they had after an anonymous website uploaded a video showing Flores entering and leaving Braynon's apartment on multiple occasions.
On March 8, 2017, Marion Hammer, USF Executive Director and NRA Past President, issued a statement to all USF and NRA Members that Anitere Flores had publicly stated her intent to kill several pro-gun bills by joining Democrats and not allowing them out of her committee.
- "August 31, 2004 Primary Election, Republican Primary, State Representative District: 114". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Yager, Richard (October 13, 2010). "Millie Herrera campaigning on Florida state economic revival". Miami Community Newspapers. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- "November 2, 2004 General Election, State Representative District: 114". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- "August 24, 2010 Primary Election, Republican Primary, State Senator District: 38". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Derby, Kevin (September 23, 2010). "Republicans Close but Unlikely to Win Supermajority in State Senate". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- "November 2, 2010 General Election, State Senator District: 38". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Wallace, Jeremy; Klas, Mary Ellen (July 28, 2015). "Florida Senate admits map it drew is unconstitutional". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Buzzacco-Foerster, Jenna (December 31, 2015). "Judge select plaintiffs' map in Senate redistricting case". Florida Politics. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
- Buzzacco-Foerster, Jenna (June 24, 2016). "Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell challenging Anitere Flores in SD 39". Florida Politics. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
- Klas, Mary Ellen; Charles, Jacqueline; Staletovich, Jenny (2016-11-08). "Diaz de la Portilla and Bullard defeated in state Senate upsets". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
- "Two Florida lawmakers admit affair and apologize as legislative session opens". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- "Why the Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon affair matters to Florida voters". Tampa Bay Times. January 16, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- "Florida Report: Sen. Anitere Flores Turns on Law-abiding Gun Owners". NRA.org. March 8, 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
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