Democratic state Reps. Kamia Brown of Orlando and John Cortes of Kissimmee won new terms in the Florida House Friday when no one qualified for the ballot to challenge either of them in elections this year.

Cortes gets a third term representing House District 43, covering north Osceola County. Brown gets a second term representing House District 45, comprising a broad swath of western Orange County.

Their Democratic colleague state Rep. Bruce Antone of Orlando narrowly missed the prospect of walking into another term himself, when Sandra Lewis of Orlando filed Thursday to be a write-in candidate in House District 46, also in western Orange County. That means Antone will have to wait until after the November 6 election to declare victory, though he will be the only name appearing on the ballot.

“I’m happy to be re-elected to serve the citizens of District 45. I appreciate coming in and being unopposed, which shows my dedication I think, and the work I have done and the work that I will continue to do for the next two years,” Brown said. “Definitely grateful for those who have supported me along the way and entrusted me with representing them in Tallahassee. I will remain over this next cycle committed to advocating for and being a voice for this community.”

“The best is yet to come,” Brown said. “The work is to be continued.”

Cortes agreed, adding he’s looking forward to getting back to Tallahassee to work particularly on solving problems with sustainable housing availability and accountability of homeowners’ associations.

“I am very appreciative of the people who have supported me and I plan to do the right thing for the next two years and do the best I can,” Cortes said.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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