The race for the 2024-26 House Speakership may be over before it even begins.

Florida Politics spoke with more than a dozen of the 27 first-term Republicans in the House and found that there was a clear leader among them: Miami Rep. Daniel Perez.

According to his GOP colleagues, who would not speak on the record due to caucus rules, Perez has 13 members firmly in his corner and could already have up to 15 backers.

One caveat: Each of these members made it clear that their vote had not been solicited or had anything else occurred that might violate Republican caucus rules.

Candidates for House Speaker need the backing of a simple majority of their cohort to become the class leader.

Palm Harbor Rep. Chris Sprowls is set to succeed current House Speaker Jose Oliva after the 2020 elections, and Palm Coast Rep. Paul Renner is slated to take over two years later.

Whoever wins House leader for the 2018 class will serve as House Speaker during the 2025 and 2026 legislative sessions, assuming Republicans maintain their majority.

Perez, an attorney, is what’s known as a “redshirt freshman” — he was elected to Miami-Dade’s

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