Equality Florida, a civil rights organization dedicated to securing equality for Florida’s LGBT community, has endorsed Carlos Guillermo Smith in the race for Florida House District 49. Smith worked for Equality Florida’s public policy team during this year’s Regular Session.

In a message to supporters Equality Florida said, “In 2016, we’ll have a chance to make history by electing Florida’s first openly gay Latino state lawmaker, Carlos Guillermo Smith. His campaign for House District 49 in Orlando is one of the most important races for our state’s LGBT community in the next election cycle.

“That’s why we are proud to announce his endorsement by Equality Florida Action PAC!”

House District 49, which consists of parts of east Orlando and the University of Central Florida, will be open in 2016 because incumbent Rene Plasencia is running in House District 50 next year.

Smith, outgoing chairman of the Orange County Democratic Executive Committee, faces Gus Martinez in the Democratic primary. Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Regional Director Betsy Franceschini is also reportedly considering a run.

On the Republican side, businessman Peter Vivaldi is expected to make a decision soon as to whether he’ll make a run at the left-leaning seat in an attempt to replicate Plasencia’s upset win this past November.

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