FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20th, 2015
Carlos Guillermo Smith
Orange County Democratic Party Chairman Carlos Guillermo Smith Announces Resignation to Run for Florida Legislature
Party chairman & former aide will focus on his campaign for Florida House District 49
Orlando, FL - The chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, Carlos Guillermo Smith, 34, announced his official resignation from the party leadership post to members of the local party at a meeting Monday night. Smith told Democrats about his decision to resign in order to focus on his own 2016 campaign for the Florida House of Representatives District 49, a candidacy he announced last month.
Carlos Guillermo Smith offered the following statement:
“Serving as Democratic Party Chairman since 2013 has been an honor and privilege. It hasn’t always been easy, but doing the good work of electing more Democrats who care about everyday working families is the reason I got involved. I'm proud of the Democratic field of candidates already lined up and on the way for 2016, which is the result of years of investment towards building our bench at the local level. As a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives District 49, it’s now time for me to focus on promoting my own campaign-- whose message of affordable higher education, affordable healthcare, and social and economic justice for all Floridians is already resonating with voters. My time as party chairman may be coming to an end, but I will never stop fighting for the progressive values that Democrats stand for.
Since filing his candidate paperwork on June 1st, Smith has raised $21,410 in just 30 days according to the Florida Division of Elections. Under his leadership of Orange Democrats, the local party raised over $200,000 in 2014, outperforming Orange County Republicans according to the Supervisor of Elections. A longtime resident of the district and alumnus of the University of Central Florida, Carlos previously served the constituents of House District 49 as the legislative aide to former Representative Joe Saunders. The Sun-Sentinel called his candidacy, "the Democrats' best chance to flip a seat in next year's election." For a complete list of Carlos's endorsements and accompanying statements click here.
House District 49 leans Democratic and is also known as the “UCF seat”, containing a younger population with a median age of 28 and an approximately 30% Hispanic electorate according to the 2010 census.
In his current role as Equality Florida’s governmental affairs manager, Carlos led the organization's effort to successfully kill two anti-LGBT bills given a fast track during 2015 session despite significant Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
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