Orange County Democratic Executive Chairman and House District 49 candidate Carlos Guillermo Smith raised about $12,500 in July to bring his campaign haul to $34,000 for his first two months on the trail. Smith has over $31,000 of it on hand.
Smith’s lone opponent Gus Martinez has not had any significant fundraising activity, nor does he have any significant campaign presence online. However, Smith biggest potential threat, fellow Democrat and Puerto Rican Federal Affairs official Betsy Franceschini is still weighing a potential run, and there is a “Draft Betsy” effort underway from a faction of local Democrats in the area to primary the early frontrunner.
Smith needs to raise enough money to scare away Franceschini or any other potential challengers.
On the Republican side, businessman Peter Vivaldi will be making a decision on a potential run soon. Despite House 49’s standing as a left-leaning district that consists of the University of Central Florida and East Orlando, Vivaldi will try to replicate the success of it’s current representative, Rene Plasencia, who pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the state last year, defeating Democratic incumbent Joe Saunders. Plasencia has announced he will be running in House District 50 next year.