Carlos Guillermo Smith exceeds $300K in fundraising

Guillermo Smith, Carlos
The Orlando Democrat remains the only Democrat in the race. Will those numbers discourage any potential challengers?

Former state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith continues to flex his fundraising might while running for state Senate.

The Orlando Democrat announced he has raised more than $300,000 since launching his campaign for Senate District 17 in April. Much of that, he said, came from more than 2,400 small donors giving $200 or less.

“I am deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from grassroots donors across Florida who have invested in our campaign for prosperity, freedom and equality for all. Our campaign is truly powered by real people, not powerful special interests, and these fundraising numbers prove it.”

Smith remains the only candidate running to succeed term-limited state Sen. Linda Stewart, an Orlando Democrat. An open seat in the upper chamber of the legislature could attract more contenders, but Smith has hoped his strong fundraising will send a message.

The race serves as a comeback for Smith, who served six years in the Florida House before losing a fourth bid in 2022.

But campaign officials for Smith say the fundraising shows he remains a political force in Orange County.

“These fundraising numbers, along with the growing list of endorsements, are a true reflection of the grassroots and community-based movement Carlos continues to build here in Central Florida.” said Allison Cassidy, Smith’s campaign manager.

“From the very beginning, the foundation of this campaign has been folks right here in Senate District 17, showing support however they can. Whether it is financial contributions, knocking on doors, or attending events, this campaign would not be possible without the thousands of individuals who believe in the importance of electing people who care about people.”

Smith has also racked up endorsements from political leaders, including state Sens. Lori Berman, Tracie Davis, Shevrin Jones, Rosalind Osgood, Tina Polsky, Geraldine Thompson and Victor Torres and Central Florida state Reps. Johanna López, Rita Harris, LaVon Bracy Davis, and others. U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, an Orlando Democrat, also has backed Smith’s campaign.

The campaign says this should show Central Florida’s political world Smith remains a clear frontrunner, if not the preemptive Democratic nominee.

“Carlos’ long history of standing up for hardworking Floridians has clearly resonated with voters, donors, and working families.” said Shayne Cheshire, Smith’s fundraiser.

“As of the last publicly filed campaign reports, Carlos has received twice the number of donations and raised more money from individuals than the entire rest of Florida’s 2024 State Senate Democratic field combined. This early fundraising success shows that our campaign has the momentum and support needed to win next year.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • PeterH

    November 27, 2023 at 12:40 pm

    I donated! It’s time for our useless whining Republican Senators to retire!

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

Comments are closed.


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