ORLANDO – Equality Florida’s Carlos Guillermo Smith announced he will run for Florida House Representative in District 49 in the upcoming election year.
Smith, who is also the current Chair for the Orange County Democrats, decided to run after former State Representative Joe Saunders made the decision to not make another bid for the Florida House in 2016.
Smith, who has been friends with Saunders since meeting in college at UCF in 2002, worked with him on his 2012 campaign and, after winning that race, joined Saunders as his chief-of-staff in Tallahassee.
Smith will be a first time candidate, but brings much experience working from behind the scenes on several political campaigns since 2010.
“I’ve seen people run for office and I’ve been close enough to the process and involved in enough campaigns to know what to expect,” Smith said. “I’m not green. Even though I’m a first time candidate I know what it’s going to take and how much hard work it’s going to be, but I think at the end of the day, regardless of the result, it’s going to be worth it because the people need to know what’s happening up there.”
District 49’s seat is up for grabs with no incumbent running for re-election since the current representative, Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando), announced in April that he would run for the District 50 seat in 2016.