Carlos Guillermo Smith not taking independent opponent Shea Silverman for granted

Carlos Guillermo Smith mailer

Democratic House District 49 nominee Carlos Guillermo Smith never drew a political party opponent in his quest to win Florida House District 49 back from the Republicans, and he’s not taking lightly his lone rival, independent candidate Shea Silverman.

Smith, who has pushed one of the strongest fundraising campaigns in Florida of any non-incumbent running for the Florida House of Representatives, also is spending that money. The latest campaign finance reports show Smith spent more than $40,000 on campaign mailers in the past three weeks.

Smith, a gay rights lobbyist, former legislative aide, and former Orange County Democratic chairman, raised nearly $137,000 for his campaign through the end of September, according to the latest report, and has spent $94,000 of it. That included spending $44,000 in the last two weeks of September.

Silverman, a computer technology specialist at the University of Central Florida, has raised just under $3,000 and spent just over $2,000 for his campaign, according to the Sept. 30 report.

At least three Smith mailers have already gone out in HD 49, which covers part of northeast Orange County, including UCF and several large Hispanic neighborhoods. There’s one picturing Smith in a rainbow T-shirt and holding a megaphone at a rally. There’s Smith in a business suit standing amidst a diverse group of community leaders. There’s Smith posing in front of the Orlando skyline. Each mailer has offered different aspects of Smith’s background, record, and platform.

The seat is vacant because Republican incumbent state Rep. Rene Plasencia chose to move to House District 50 this year.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at


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