About Carlos Guillermo Smith
Carlos Guillermo Smith is a proven fighter for our community's working families. A proud alumnus of the University of Central Florida, Carlos proudly identifies as a Latino, LGBT and forward thinking millennial who reflects the values and diversity of House District 49.
He knows the issues. As a community leader, Carlos has been a champion for affordable healthcare, fully funded public education, and for social and economic equality. As an advocate for everyday Floridians, Carlos has experience organizing the public to engage in citizen activism to ensure their voices are heard in Tallahassee. As a result of that experience, Carlos knows how Tallahassee works and has the relationships to get things done.
The Smiths: A working class family of public servants
Carlos was born and raised in the Sunshine State, attended public schools, and graduated in 1999 from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, FL. His parents immigrated to Florida in 1978 to find work and live the American dream. His French Canadian mother, Johanne, maintains a public school ESOL program working with students who do not speak English as a first language. His father, Luis Ricardo, is the owner of a small business which specializes in pool cleaning services. His older sister Cathy is a first responder serving her community as a firefighter, and his younger sister Kristine, is attending her second year of residency at UF Health in Jacksonville with a specialty in OBGYN.
Real world experience and work in the private and non-profit sector
After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2003, Carlos spent 8 years working and managing Men’s Wearhouse stores in Georgia and Florida. As time went by, he hit a wall, and began to feel more and more squeezed by the corporate driven profits over people mentality that came from the company executives. From there, Carlos began setting a plan in motion to leave his career in retail to do something where he thought he could make a difference. After volunteering as a community organizer for every social justice group or political campaign he could, he was hired as the legislative aide for Representative Scott Randolph in 2011. He soon became an active leader in the local Democratic Party and served as communications director and senior advisor to Joe Saunders State House 49 race in 2012. After winning his election, Saunders hired Carlos to run his legislative office and become his policy chief during his two years of service in the legislature. In 2013, Carlos was elected by local leaders to become chairman and leader of the Orange County Democratic Party. He currently serves as the governmental affairs manager for Equality Florida, the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.