St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has endorsed Carlos Guillermo Smith in the HD 49 race, and will be hosting a fundraiser for the Democrat.

“While serving in the Florida House, I witnessed first-hand how Carlos can get things done,” said Kriseman, a former state House Democrat who represented St. Petersburg. “He knows his district and he understands the issues facing our state. Carlos is a real progressive leader for all of Florida.”

Smith, a first-time candidate, is vying to replace Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia in the Florida House. Plasencia is running in nearby House District 50. Smith will face Republican Amber Lynn Mariano and Shea Silverman, a no party affiliation candidate. He announced earlier this week that he had received enough verified signatures to qualify for the House District 49 race.

In addition to the endorsement, Kriseman will be an “honorary” host at a fundraiser for Smith being held Friday, May 20, at the St. Pete home of Ed Lally and Phil Dinkins.

“Rick Kriseman has an outstanding record as one of Florida’s most effective big city mayors,” Smith said in a statement. “His endorsement and support means a great deal to me, and is further validation of my experience in working with elected leaders to get things done for the people of Florida.”

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