Leading LGBTQ lawmaker endorses Charlie Crist for Governor
Charlie Crist. Image via AP.

Latest Charlie Crist endorsement from Carlos Guillermo Smith reflects former Governor's progressive bona fides.

One of the Legislature’s most passionate voices for LGBTQ issues is speaking up for Charlie Crist and endorsing him for Governor.

Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith of Orlando Tuesday added his recommendation to the growing number of elected leaders who are getting behind Crist as the best candidate to beat Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Smith, a three-term state Representative, said he was “proud” to endorse Crist for Governor. Right now, Crist is in a contest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination against Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried.

“I trust Charlie Crist to lead our state forward and bring back decency to the governor’s office,” Smith said in a statement. “At Team Carlos, we put people over politics, are champions of equality and working people, and we stand up to special interests and corporations — and that’s exactly what Charlie stands for.”

Crist said he’s “incredibly thankful” for Smith’s endorsement.

“Rep. Smith is an inspiration and a champion for Florida’s LGBTQ+ community, and for everyone he represents,” Crist said in a statement. “His endorsement is a reflection of our campaign’s promise to always put the people first as we build a Florida where everyone has their voices heard.”

Crist’s record on LGBTQ rights is complicated by his previous political incarnation, however. He was elected Governor in 2006 as a Republican.

Back then, Crist supported the state law that stopped gays and lesbians from adopting children until it was overturned in the courts. Crist also supported a 2008 referendum that added a ban on same-sex marriage to the Florida Constitution. That toothless prohibition remains on the books

But Crist has since been embraced by LGBTQ rights groups in subsequent elections. He was quick to denounce the Parental Rights in Education Law passed this year that more strictly controls schools’ discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation. He called it unconscionable, hurtful and harmful.

Crist also won the endorsement of Equality Florida in his 2014 run for Governor that pitted him in the General Election against then-gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott. Crist was chosen for that endorsement over Democrat Nan Rich, who had been a consistent advocate for LGBTQ rights.

The Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus has not yet made an endorsement in this year’s race for Governor.

But Smith is ready to go ahead.

“We need the best candidate on the ballot to unseat Gov. DeSantis and move Florida in the right direction,” Smith said. “That’s why I’m urging all of my supporters to get behind Charlie.”

Smith’s backing is part of a slew of Crist endorsements in recent days that have included state Sen. Annette Taddeo, who recently suspended her gubernatorial campaign, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and state Rep. Anna Eskamani.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


  • Impeach Biden

    June 14, 2022 at 8:43 am

    The LGBTQ community makes up roughly 7% of the population of Florida. I have no problem with them at all, but stop jamming your agenda down our throats. DeSantis still wins.

  • ScienceBLVR

    June 14, 2022 at 9:26 am

    So, 7% of 22 million pop of Florida in 2022.hmmm that would be about 1.5 million- and those are just the ones who are brave enough to self identify. So, it’s ok to discriminate against, bully, and harass them? How about their families, loved ones add those numbers in and now you have a petty large group? Maybe they don’t like what DeSantis and religious right shoves down their throats.

  • Don’t Look Up

    June 14, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    DeSantis should be grateful that the FBI and local police stopped the white supremacy tools from terrorizing the LGBTQ parade in Idaho.

    DeSantis’s continuing hateful ‘culture war’ narrative and legislation has given extremist groups a green light to act.

    The finger pointing will be in DeSantis’s direction. He simply can’t get enough of his divisive campaign of hate.

    • Military Mama

      June 16, 2022 at 12:08 am

      Most of us Patriots don’t have the desire or the time to fit your narrative of terrorizing LGBTQABCDEFG people. We’re too busy working and raising our families. DeSantis is just standing up for our team which you are not used to since so many RINOs lack courage and are only in it for the cash and fame. Quit accusing us of hating when the only hate is coming from your kind. Oh, and pride is one of the 7 deadly sins. We the People would prefer Humility month.

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Comments are closed.


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