|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
|Assumed office |
November 4, 2014
|Preceded by||Joe Saunders|
|Constituency||49th district (2014–2016)|
50th district (2016–present)
|Born||January 8, 1973|
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Central Florida (BA)|
Rene "Coach P" Plasencia (born January 8, 1973) is an American Republican politician who currently serves as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 50th District, including southeast Orange County and the northern portion of Brevard County since 2016. He previously was elected in the 49th District.
Plasencia was born in Orlando, Florida, and attended Dr. Phillips High School and then the University of Central Florida, where he started the first student-athlete advisory board. He graduated with his bachelor's degree and then began working as a coach and government teacher at Colonial High School.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2014, incumbent State Representative Joe Saunders, a Democrat, ran for re-election in the 49th District, so Plasencia ran against him. He faced Ed Rodriguez, a retired police detective, in the Republican primary. Plasencia campaigned on his opposition to the Common Core Standards and standardized tests, saying, "We need to give teachers the ability to teach. A lot of what we do is almost clerical work." He ended up defeating Rodriguez in a landslide, winning the primary with 77% of the vote and advancing to the general election, where he faced Saunders. Plasencia argued that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which Saunders supported, was a "jobs killer," and praised Governor Rick Scott on "gun rights, economics, taxes, and pro-growth strategies," while also emphasizing that he supported public education. The Orlando Sentinel, while praising Plasencia as a "passionate advocate for education," endorsed Saunders, noting that "public schools already have a champion in Saunders." Ultimately, however, Plasencia defeated Saunders by just seven hundred votes, winning his first term in the legislature with 51% of the vote.
In November 2016, Plasencia was elected as representative for the 50th district, following his term in the 49th district.
- "Our Latino Leaders: Meet Rene Plasencia". GOP. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- "Vote Coach P 2018 – Rene Coach P Plasencia for District 50". www.votecoachp.com. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Powers, Scott (July 25, 2014). "House 49 race pits 'Robocop' versus 'Coach P'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- Fox, Greg (October 28, 2014). "District 49 candidates disagree on minimum wage". WESH. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- Powers, Scott (October 10, 2014). "Education key in House District 49 contest". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- "Our picks for Legislature, part 2: Editorial". Orlando Sentinel. October 15, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.