The Orlando Local News
There is one candidate who meets the needs of all residents in Dr. Phillips and it aint Geraldine! Raised right here in Dr. Phillips, Bruno Portigliatti offers just the right treatment for the ailments of Florida House District 44. Every neighborhood, regardless of race, religion or creed, would benefit from Mr. Portigliatti’s level-headed attitude and fair-minded mentality. Portigliatti knows the challenges of life well, working his way up in life from a server at Dr. Phillips’ famous “Restaurant Row” to now holding the title of President or CEO in several notable and prominent entities in Florida.
He currently serves as the President of Florida Christian University as well as CEO of Excellence Senior Living. Portigliatti enjoys strong ties to the immigrant community. Though raised for most of his life in Dr. Phillips, Portigliatti’s family emigrated from São Paulo, Brazil, the city of his birth. Few stories in our history rival those of immigrants who risk their livelihoods and leave home in pursuit of the American Dream. Mr. Portigliatti married his wife Stephanie Figueiredo in 2017 and both possess a strong faith in God. Devout Christians, the Portigliattis’ faith animates their life’s work and purpose. Mr. Portigliatti’s story reflects the best in the American spirit, a spirit he hopes to take to Tallahassee. Portigliatti currently faces one competitor in the Republican Primary who has garnerered little support. Mr. Portigliatti’s campaign raised just over $100k total. In the General Election, Portigliatti will run against Geraldine Thompson, the seat’s incumbent legislator. Despite raving and sycophantic reviews by the Chicago-based Orlando Sentinel, Thompson boasts of few accomplishments to speak of, except for select programs built to benefit only a few communities in the district.
Yes, the current occupant of Floirda State House District 44 not only panders to one or two select communities, but virtually ignores many others such as our elderly, veterans and small businesses. For example, we recently contacted Ms. Thompson’s office by phone in regard to these issues in our community. As we reported previously, a Union veterans’ cemetery in the Vineland area now sits in the crosshairs of development. Thompson seemed to demonstrate little concern for this issue. We also contacted Thompson about the recent case of a veteran of World War II who passed away alone in a Winter Garden nursing home. A similar tone-deaf response emanated from her office.
Certainly the entire disease of corrupt and do-nothing leadership is typical of Tallahassee as a whole, not just Geraldine Thompson; but, it might be entirely eliminated in this district if she stepped down today. Why step down, you might ask? If the above reasons don’t convince the reader yet, just look at how she operates her office and finances. Perhaps the fact that her private charity shares the same space as her government office means nothing, or maybe there is more to the story.
What else is known of her financial dealings? In addition to this highly unethical setup, Thompson skirted campaign finance law to appease her donors and rake in more funds than the legal limit allows. One thing is clear though— like many of her fellow legislators, Geraldine feels an obligation to one thing and one thing only: her self-interest. “I’m not sure what she’s done for us,” says Tim Adams of Dr. Phillips: “I never see her. I didn’t even know she existed until I stumbled upon the race in a news article. People here need results not idle talk.”
In the entire district though, Thompson enjoys significant name recognition. If only our Chicago-based Orlando Sentinel paid more attention to her record than the number of years she has been in public life! Fresh faces, youthful ideas and non-establishment figures consist of just what FL-44 requires for the future of our rapidly growing community. We thank Mr. Portigliatti for running. We believe that the people of FL-44 will be able to see through the demagoguery, partisanship and tribal mentality brought to us by Thompson. We also wish the best to whoever wins the race and will be rooting for their success in Tallahassee as they serve the people of District FL-44.
Thompson could not be reached for comment on this story.