Jose is an American-born son of Cuban Immigrants. Jose grew up in Hialeah, FL where he attended public schools. Jose and his wife Jeanne have been married for 24 years and have 3 children.
Jose is an entrepreneur who started his first company, Oliva Cigar Co. (tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing concern) in 1995 together with his family. After growing the company Jose divested in 2016 and remained as CEO until 2018. Jose currently serves as Chairman of the Board at Oliva Cigar Co.
In 2011 Jose was elected to represent District 110 in the Florida legislature. He served in the legislature between 2011-2020. Jose served as Speaker of the House during 2018-2020 legislative term. During his time in the legislature Jose focused on healthcare and education reform. In healthcare, Jose led the effort to remove many healthcare regulations including the stubborn “Certificate of Need” regulation. Jose also expanded the scope of authority for nurse practitioners to allow them to practice autonomously and to the full extent of their training. Additionally, Jose was instrumental in the legislation that allowed for prescription drug-importation. In education, Jose continued the work of expansion of choice. In higher education, Jose focused on curbing runaway growth in the University system by establishing space-utilization requirements as well financial responsibility around new construction.
Currently, Jose owns Oliva International Foods which imports and distributes Hispanic frozen foods in the US.
Jose’s stated goals as a Governor are to help foment a culture of efficiency and careful need-based growth in the university system as well as ensure that our universities live up to the expectation of free-thought and engage in vibrant but civil discourse