José R. Oliva

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José Oliva
Jose R. Oliva.jpg
101st Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
Assumed office
November 20, 2018
Preceded byRichard Corcoran
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 110th district
Assumed office
September 19, 2011
Preceded byEsteban Bovo
Personal details
Born (1973-01-06) January 6, 1973 (age 46)
Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jeanne Oliva
EducationSt. Thomas University

José R. Oliva (born January 6, 1973) is a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 110th District, which includes Hialeah and Miami Lakes in northern Miami-Dade County, since 2011.


Oliva was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and moved to the state of Florida in 1974. He graduated from Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School, and later attended St. Thomas University, but did not graduate. Oliva began working for his family's cigar manufacturing business, and eventually served as its Chief Executive Officer. From 2001 to 2005, he served as a Hialeah Housing Commissioner.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

When incumbent State Representative Esteban Bovo resigned from the legislature to successfully run for the Miami-Dade County Commission in 2011,[1] a special election was called to replace him. Oliva ran in the Republican primary against Frank Lago and Rafael Luiz Perez, emphasizing his support for "lower taxes, small and accountable government, [and] conservative family values."[2] He ended up winning the primary, receiving 42% of the vote to Lago's 35% and Perez's 23%, and advanced to the general election, where he only faced write-in opposition. Oliva won the general election handily, winning 93% of the vote.

In 2012, following the reconfiguration of the legislative districts, Oliva remained in the 110th District, which retained most of the territory that he had previously represented. He was challenged in the Republican primary by Ileana Abay, but he dispatched her easily, winning renomination with 86% of the vote. In the general election, he once again only faced write-in opposition, and he won his second term with nearly 100% of the vote.

Following his re-election, Oliva received enough votes from his colleagues in the legislature to assume the position of Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives for the 2018-2020 legislative session, assuming that he continues to win re-election.[3]

Pregnancy comments controversy[edit]

In February 2019, Oliva referred to pregnant women as a "host body" a total of five times during an interview with CBS4's Jim DeFede in Miami. In response, state Representative Anna Eskamani stated, "With all due respect Mr. Speaker, my body is not a "host" and personal medical decisions around my pregnancy belong to me, my family, my doctor, and my faith— not to politicians."[4] Oliva apoligized for the term, stating, "It was an attempt to use terminology found in medical ethics writings with the purpose of keeping the discussion dispassionate. The reaction undoubtedly shows it had the exact opposite effect. I apologize for having caused offense, my aim was the contrary."[4]


  1. ^ Mazzei, Patricia (March 24, 2011). "Hialeah lawmaker to resign Friday for Miami-Dade run". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Derby, Kevin (May 11, 2011). "Three Conservatives Square Off in Special Election to Represent Miami-Dade in the House". Sunshine State News. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  3. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen (November 10, 2012). "House speaker list set: Weatherford, Crisafulli, Corcoran, Oliva". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Russo, Amy (March 1, 2019). "GOP Florida Lawmaker Apologizes For Calling A Pregnant Woman A 'Host'". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 2, 2019.

External links[edit]

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by
Esteban Bovo
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 110th district

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Corcoran
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives