|20th Lieutenant Governor of Florida|
|Assumed office |
January 8, 2019
|Preceded by||Carlos Lopez-Cantera|
|Speaker pro tempore of the Florida House of Representatives|
November 22, 2016 – November 20, 2018
|Preceded by||Matt Hudson|
|Succeeded by||MaryLynn Magar|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
November 2, 2010 – November 6, 2018
|Preceded by||David Rivera|
|Succeeded by||Juan Fernandez-Barquin|
|Constituency||112th district (2010–2012)|
119th district (2012–2018)
|Born||June 6, 1972|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Education||Florida International University (BA, MPA)|
Jeanette Marie Núñez (born June 6, 1972) is an American businesswoman and politician serving as the 20th and current lieutenant governor of Florida since 2019. A Republican, she represented parts of Miami-Dade County in the Florida House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018, also serving as speaker pro tempore for her final two years in office. She is first Latina to serve as Florida lieutenant governor and the third consecutive minority officeholder after fellow Republicans Jennifer Carroll and Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
Early life and career
Of Cuban descent, Núñez was born in Miami and attended Florida International University, receiving her bachelor's degree in political science and international relations in 1994 and her masters degree in public administration in 1998. Following graduation, she worked for state senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla as his chief of staff, and then entered the health care industry, working as the vice-president of government affairs at Jackson Health System. Núñez also worked for Florida International University as an adjunct professor and advisor. From there, she served as the vice-president of external affairs at Kendall Regional Medical Center and Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, until becoming the lieutenant governor of Florida. She is married to Adrian Nunez, and together they have three children – Megan, Justin, and Jason.
Florida House of Representatives
When incumbent state representative David Rivera was unable to seek re-election in 2010 due to term limits, Núñez ran to succeed him in the 112th District, which included parts of Broward County, Collier County, and Miami-Dade County, stretching from Doral to Naples. In the Republican primary, she faced Juan D'Arce and James Patrick Guerrero, and campaigned on working to pass legislation to "improve the economy" and to "reform the Medicaid program in order to contain the ever-growing costs that affect taxpayers." Ultimately, Núñez won the primary over her opponents, receiving 66% of the vote to D'Arce's 19% and Guerrero's 15%. Advancing to the general election, she faced Sandra Ruiz, the Democratic nominee and a Doral City councilwoman, and Robert Van Name, an independent candidate. Núñez campaigned on job creation, noting, "For me, the most important issue for District 112 and in fact for the entire state of Florida is creating jobs, improving the economy and lowering the tax burden for businesses and property owners." The Naples Daily News criticized the nature of the district, noting, "If there is a textbook reason for redistricting reform, this race...would be it," and opined that "there is little sense of Collier connection from either Miami-based candidate." Despite this, they endorsed Núñez over Ruiz because Núñez met with the editorial board and Ruiz did not, which they noted was "a dreadful measuring stick for picking such a high-ranking public servant." Ultimately, Núñez won out over her opponents by a comfortable margin, scoring 56% of the vote to Ruiz's 39% and Van Name's 5%.
When the state's legislative districts were redrawn in 2012, Núñez was drawn into the 119th District, where she opted to seek re-election. She was challenged in the Republican primary by Libby Perez, but easily won renomination with 73% of the vote. Núñez only faced write-in opposition in the general election and easily won re-election.
During the 2014 legislative session, Núñez worked with state senator Jack Latvala to sponsor legislation that "would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay the same in-state tuition rates for college as other Floridians," which ended up passing the legislature.
As reported by The Hill in 2018, Jeanette Nuñez will introduce legislation in Florida "to standardize daylight saving time for the entire calendar year". To make the "Sunshine Protection Act" nationwide, Senator Marco Rubio would sponsor such a bill in the Senate given the bill could not take effect until the federal government makes the change. This is because the "provision would shift the state into a different time zone permanently", something which requires a federal regulatory action or an act of Congress.
Lieutenant governor of Florida
On September 5, 2018, then-congressman Ron DeSantis selected Núñez to be his running mate in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election, facing off against Andrew Gillum and running mate Chris King. DeSantis and Núñez would go on to win the election by a margin of less than half of a percentage point. Núñez is the first Hispanic woman to serve as lieutenant governor of Florida.
Núñez was sworn in as lieutenant governor on January 8, 2019, succeeding Carlos Lopez-Cantera. During her time in office, she has mostly been known for her support for exiles of Venezuela, hosting various roundtables and events in an effort to find ways of helping them.
- "DeSantis has chosen first female Cuban-American lieutenant governor running mate". Naples Daily News. September 5, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
- Miguel-Navarro, Tracy X. (August 19, 2010). "Job creation the key issue to candidates in House race that includes Collier". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Miguel-Navarro, Tracy X. (October 27, 2010). "Job creation on minds of candidates for House District 112". Naples Daily News. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- "Editorial: Here is a summary of our endorsements in contests in Collier and Lee counties". Naples Daily News. October 4, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Nielsen, Allison (May 1, 2014). "In-State Tuition Bill Soars Through Senate". Sunshine State News. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
- Delk, Josh. "Rubio legislation would keep daylight saving time year-round". The Hill. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
- Smiley, David (September 5, 2019). "DeSantis picks Miami state legislator Jeanette Nuñez as running mate". Miami Herald. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Dunkelberger, Lloyd (November 15, 2018). "Ron DeSantis nails down win in Florida governor's race". News4Jax. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Stofan, Jake (January 7, 2019). "Jeanette Núñez to become first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor". WJHG. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- Stofan, Jake (January 7, 2019). "Jeanette Núñez to become first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor". ABC News 7. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Ogles, Jacob (February 16, 2019). "Jeanette Nunez, Casey DeSantis meet with Venezuelan exiles". Fla Pol. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
- Holly, Jessica (February 15, 2019). "Florida Lt. Governor Nunez holds roundtable discussion on Venezuela at FIU". WSVN. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
|Florida House of Representatives|
| Speaker pro tempore of the Florida House of Representatives
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Florida
| Lieutenant Governor of Florida