Friends and supporters,

By now you’ve probably heard the news. Unfortunately, we didn’t win re-election after a tough race in a brutal political environment in Florida, where the DeSantis machine spent nearly $1.5 MILLION to buy this seat and tighten their grip on Tallahassee.

When I took the stage Tuesday night to address our supporters, I looked out into the crowd and saw exactly what and who we have been fighting for during my six years in public service.

I saw our union workers fighting for better pay and better benefits; teachers who simply want the best education for our kids; tenants who are tired of being rent gouged by corporate landlords; hard-working immigrants who came to this country to work and to provide a better future for their families; survivors and families impacted by gun violence who demand action; women who deserve their freedoms, and I saw LGBTQ people who deserve equal rights.

My heart is full of gratitude for all of our supporters who fueled this campaign. THANK YOU for putting your all into this race. To you, I reaffirm this commitment – when your fundamental rights, your dignity, your livelihood and your freedoms are under attack – I’ll be there alongside you to fight back…and I am not going anywhere.

I’ll show up for you in the same way YOU showed up for this people-powered campaign.

A campaign fueled by over 2,500 contributions, staffed by over 300 volunteers who knocked on over 18,000 doors and sent over 530,000 text messages! You did that not for me, you did it for all of us!

I’ve been through many elections and election nights. They can be brutal. But even in the roughest of election nights, it’s not hard to find hope in the results.

I see hope in leaders like Anna V. Eskamani and Maxwell Alejandro Frost who won their elections and are inspiring a new generation of leaders.

The truth is that my six years of public service would not have been possible without my legislative staff: Gio Rivera-López, Jackie Gomez-Tejeda, Gabriel Gomez, Ida V. Eskamani, Kristellys Estanga, Krista Ziehler, Julian Cintron, and Sergio Cartagena. Their constituent services saved lives. This campaign would not have been possible without the blood, sweat and tears of our campaign manager Lee Perry, our field manager Craig Wilding, and our volunteer coordinator Matt Inman who worked countless hours to organize communities and GOTV before election day.

I also wouldn’t be the man I am today without my Mama, Johanne, who raised me right. I owe her everything. Nor without the man who helps me keep it all together and who has been through all the ups and downs, my husband, Jerick Mediavilla.

I know there are many MAGA partisans relishing this result. They can bully me all they want, but I will not let them bully our most vulnerable in order to use them as political pawns in their cynical agenda. And I will certainly not standby and let them bully our LGBTQ youth.

As Florida’s first LGBTQ Latino lawmaker, I have a message for all LGBTQ youth who may be discouraged by these election results – you are beautiful, you are loved, your lives are worth fighting for, and you can be anything you want to be.

I’ve been SO overwhelmed and grateful for the LOVE you all have been sending my way with your calls, texts, and messages. Thank you for sharing your words of inspiration and hope for what lies ahead.

Florida is my home and I’ve got plenty of fight left in me to protect it.

Thank you again for all your support, and I hope you’ll continue to stand with me in the fight to improve the lives of those who live in our community and across our state…and remember – I’m not going anywhere.

In Equality,
Carlos Guillermo Smith