Remarkable People 2023: Former Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida Senate candidate, District 17

Being remarkable is an attribute that so many people in our community live with naturally. In a state where minoritized groups and communities continue to be persecuted, we rest surrounded by the unapologetic progressive voices and efforts of those who just won’t stop fighting for everyone. Astounding works of love have always marked the path forward in Central Florida; as Sir Isaac Newton once penned, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

One of those giants of our community is a name that, for many, symbolizes equality, progress, people power and authenticity: Carlos Guillermo Smith. For me, there is an added layer of respect and commitment to this admirable human I get to call my loving husband. As a holder of front-row tickets to his unabating force, I witness Carlos’ devotion to his work, the passionate drive that brings him to speak for the voiceless, the will to stand up for the oppressed and shed light on those values that continue to be ignored by the system.

In the years that we have been together, there is no day that Carlos has not been aware of what is going on in the world. He eats, breathes and lives for the cause, day and night because he knows that the forces that bring down our freedoms do not rest. Carlos has experienced bigotry and homophobia, endured acts of violence against him and still wakes up every morning going through his email and calendar, making sure that every working hour is dedicated to serving the community he cherishes and that the memory of the 49 angels we lost are forever honored with action.

Even more remarkable is that I have yet to see Carlos struck down by adverse circumstances or dismayed by unfavorable results. In November 2022, after serving three terms in the Florida House of Representatives, Carlos had a new opportunity in front of him. Startled by the unfortunate results in that election cycle, many thought he would get sucked into the shadows of the corporate world or get dragged away to some other state, but Carlos’ fire is motivated by his bond to Florida. His work has doubled and his desire to continue serving the people of this great state, fighting for those who feel helpless and protecting the freedoms of everyone is his proudest badge of honor.

Take it from me: His love for this community is real, his authenticity is unmatched and, as he continues to be a trailblazer of hope and freedom, on his shoulders lies fertile ground for future leaders in this state. In a land of giants, the legacy of Carlos Guillermo Smith will always be genuinely remarkable.

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