Clay Yarborough draws Democratic opponent in SD 4 race

Yarborough, Clay
Author Sharmin Smith knows she is a long shot.

Endorsements from Senate leadership may have cleared the Republican Primary in Senate District 4, but Rep. Clay Yarborough will face a Democratic challenger.

Author Sharmin Smith of Jacksonville Beach qualified for the ballot Friday. As the only Democrat in the race in the heavily Republican district, she will be the nominee absent another last-minute filing before Friday’s noon deadline.

Smith’s personal website poses a provocative question that would be an ambitious goal for any state legislator: “Can Sharmin Smith save a nation in crisis?”

The website promotes a book the candidate self-published last decade, where “Sharmin Smith” is a “contestant on the breakthrough reality show ‘Who Wants to Be President?'”

Smith has run for office before, with a presidential campaign in 2020 that fell apart amid conflicts with her campaign manager. During a phone conversation that touched on a number of topics, she pinpointed one concern of hers as being QAnon theories.

When asked if she thought Yarborough was QAnon, she said that he was “just a Republican.”

Running against a candidate like Yarborough, who has more than $415,000 on hand in a political committee (Floridians for Conservative Values), and more than $208,000 in his campaign account, Smith is realistic about her long shot campaign.

“I don’t have good connections. I don’t have good money. I just have a dream,” Smith said. “My odds of winning aren’t great.”

Yarborough has had a successful career in politics, now well into its second decade.

He served two terms on the Jacksonville City Council from 2007 to 2015, with one year as President of the body. From there, he survived a crowded Primary in what was then House District 12 in 2016, going on to win three straight General Elections.

At one point, Cord Byrd and Rep. Jason Fischer were in the field, but they abandoned their bids. Byrd was appointed to the Secretary of State position earlier this year, and Fischer is now running for Duval County Property Appraiser.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


One comment

  • Phil Morton

    June 18, 2022 at 6:15 am

    Thank you Sharmin Smith for running. We’ll do our best for you.

    Reply

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