Joe Saunders not running for Florida House seat in 2016

ORLANDO – Former State Representative Joe Saunders will not make another run for the Florida House in 2016.

Saunders was considering another run after current District 49 State Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) announced he would run for the District 50 seat in the next election.

In a statement, Saunders thanked everyone for their support and asking him to run again in 2016.

“Thank you all who have reached out to share encouragement and for your patience,” Saunders said. “My time in public life, serving the people of District 49, will always have a very special place in my heart and none of it would have been possible without your support. After careful thought and consideration, I’ve made the decision not to seek re-election in House District 49 this year.”

Saunders put his support behind Equality Florida’s Carlos Guillermo Smith, who announced that he will be running for Florida House seat District 49.

Smith was Saunders’ chief of staff during his time as a  State Representative in Tallahassee.

“I’m confident that this year there is a candidate for District 49 who can pick up the torch and help to finish so much of the work we started together. District 49 needs someone who represents the diversity of the district, has the capacity to bring people together and has the experience and skill to make change in a process that is ripe with challenges. I can’t think of a better person to take on those challenges than my friend, and former aide, Carlos Guillermo Smith. I hope you’ll join me in supporting him,” Saunders said.

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