Who they’re, what they stand for


The race for Florida agriculture commissioner will resolve who runs a sprawling state company. Amongst different obligations, the Florida Division of Agriculture and Client Companies ensures the meals Floridians eat is secure. It advocates for Florida’s agricultural merchandise. It even runs the state’s hid weapons program and inspects the state’s theme park rides.

Along with main the 4,600-person division, the commissioner sits on the Florida Cupboard together with the state’s lawyer normal and chief monetary officer. The cupboard, together with the governor, votes on particular person clemency circumstances and oversees a number of state departments.

The present commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried, is leaving workplace to run for governor. Right here’s who’s operating to switch her. (Take a look at how they answered the questions within the Tampa Bay Occasions voter information right here.)

The winner of the Republican main will face the winner of the Democratic main within the Nov. 8 normal election. The agriculture commissioner is paid $139,988 per 12 months.

Associated: Tampa Bay Occasions 2022 main voter information: Native candidates on the problems

Republican main

Wilton Simpson

Simpson, 56, of Trilby, is at the moment the president of the Florida Senate. As a legislator, he helped Gov. Ron DeSantis go a number of of his legislative priorities, together with 2022′s invoice that banned most abortions after 15 weeks of being pregnant, and a 2021 invoice that tried to crack down on rioting.

As agriculture commissioner, Simpson has pledged on his marketing campaign web site to guard the Second Modification.

An egg farmer by commerce, Simpson is price $22.5 million. A committee supporting his run for agriculture commissioner is sitting on practically $3 million in fundraising money, and he’s been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

James W. Shaw

Shaw, 62, owns a worm farm in addition to a number of different properties within the Okeechobee space. In keeping with his marketing campaign web site, he’s a Twelfth-generation American who beforehand owned and managed a big transportation enterprise.

Shaw is operating on that administration expertise, in addition to a promise to guard the buyer as commissioner. He’s netted endorsements from State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, and political operative Roger Stone.

Shaw’s marketing campaign account has raised practically $104,000.

Associated: Egg farmer (and Senate president) battles worm farmer in Florida agriculture race

Democratic main

Naomi Esther Blemur

Blemur, 43, of North Miami, is the proprietor of a enterprise consulting agency who says she is going to combat on behalf of small farmers for a sustainable future. Like her Democratic opponents, Blemur is pushing for the state to increase authorized entry to hashish.

The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Blemur describes quite a few private challenges on her marketing campaign web site. She misplaced each mother and father earlier than the age of 18, and in 2019, her husband, Anis Blemur, was sentenced to seven years in jail after pleading responsible to wire fraud, cash laundering and aggravated identification theft. Blemur says her religion in God has helped her by these challenges.

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Her marketing campaign account has raised practically $51,000.

J.R. Gaillot

Gaillot, 53, grew up a globetrotter. The son of a Haitian diplomat, Gaillot lived at numerous occasions in Hamburg, Germany; Tokyo; and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, based on his marketing campaign web site. He now works at AT&T.

Among the many many precedence points listed on Gaillot’s marketing campaign web site are increasing entry to authorized hashish, offering extra alternatives for Black farmers and defending biodiversity in Florida. He says he desires to cease Florida from permitting the development of “pointless” roads that disrupt Florida habitats.

Gaillot has reported greater than $14,000 raised in his marketing campaign account.

Ryan Morales

Morales, 45, is the proprietor of a advertising and marketing and enterprise administration agency.

Like the opposite Democrats, Morales desires to see entry to authorized marijuana expanded. He additionally desires to see Florida legalize psychedelic mushrooms. He describes himself on his web site as “hyper-focused on saving our surroundings.”

Morales’ marketing campaign account has reported practically $21,000 in donations.

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