The last-ditch politicking has begun behind closed doors at an Orlando airport hotel.

Freshman state Reps. Byron Donalds of Naples, Erin Grall of Vero Beach, Jamie Grant of Tampa and Paul Renner of Palm Coast, and most of the other 23 Republicans in the class gathered Friday at the Orlando International Airport Hampton Inn & Suites, with a vote expected sometime after noon.

The meeting was closed to press and public. It appeared that more than 20 of the freshmen lawmakers were present when the doors were closed.

In an election coordinated by state Rep. Larry Metz and House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, each of the candidates is being given 10 minutes for a speech, followed by questions and answers. Then a vote, possibly a series of votes, will be taken, as 14 votes will be needed to elect the leader of the class.

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