Ex-State House Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith Launches State Senate Bid


ORLANDO, Fla. - Former State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith announced on Friday that he'd be seeking a state Senate seat following his re-election defeat in November 2022. From his first election win in 2016, Smith was considered among the foremost voices in the state legislature for progressive politics.

Smith, 42, launched his campaign alongside State Representative Anna Eskamani and U.S. Congressman Maxwell Frost, both progressive elected officials in their own right. He'll be campaigning for the 37th District seat in the state Senate, currently held by Democrat Linda Stewart. The district covers a portion of Orange County.

Smith is the first openly gay Hispanic person elected to the state legislature, having pushed for gun control laws following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

“I’m running for Florida Senate to continue fighting for an inclusive Florida that we can all be proud of," the candidate said in his announcement. Though the state Senate is not especially close to tipping from red to blue, Smith's voice would be an important new piece of the Democrat's minority delegation.

Smith's 2022 election loss was largely attributed to a redrawn district map, which moved the boundaries of his district to make its former Democratic majority considerably smaller. He pulled 48.1% against Republican Susan Plasencia's 51.9%. Plasencia also held the state House seat before Smith's 2016 election victory.