Today's date is May 31, 2020

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, first openly LGBTQ+ Latino member of the Florida Legislature, endorses Samuel Vilchez Santiago for Florida House District 48

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ORLANDO, FL – Florida Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-49) has endorsed Samuel Vilchez Santiago in his bid to represent District 48 in the Florida House of Representatives.

Smith currently represents the neighboring 49th District in the Florida House after his historic election as the first openly LGBTQ+ Latino lawmaker in Florida’s history and is the co-founder of the Progressive Legislative Caucus. “Samuel Vilchez Santiago is part of a new generation of Hispanic political leaders creating change within their own neighborhoods and getting things done for Central Floridians. His story as a Venezuelan refugee who overcame adversity at a young age has already inspired many in our community and his years of experience organizing issue-driven coalitions has delivered results.” Rep. Smith said of Santiago Vilchez.

He added “The early energy and excitement behind his campaign is a testament to his leadership. I proudly and enthusiastically endorse Samuel Vilchez Santiago, Democrat, for Florida House District 48.”

Boasting an accomplished political record, Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith co-founded and chaired the Legislative Progressive Caucus. His advocacy has enhanced the quality of life and protected the rights of Central Floridians.

Vilchez Santiago responded, “Representative Smith’s bold and profound advocacy has enhanced the quality of life of Central Floridians, from ensuring more funding for the UCF Restores PTSD Clinic and the arts to being a fierce champion of equality for all. Given his track record and personal connection to our community, I am humbled and honored to receive Rep. Smith’s support during this historic campaign. I look forward to standing up for the most vulnerable in our community together in Tallahassee.”

Last week, the Vilchez Santiago campaign announced an early endorsement from Johanna López, the first Latina and Puerto Rican member of the Orange County School Board who represents parts of District 48 since her historic election in 2018. As well, Vilchez Santiago was able to raise over $10,000 in the campaign’s first twenty-four hours.

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