On Monday, Corey Simon, a former all-American defensive tackle from Florida State, who also spent eight years in the NFL, mostly with the Philadelphia Eagles, announced he was running for the Florida Senate.
Simon enters politics from Volunteer Florida, where he has served since 2020, after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis chose him to be the advocacy group’s CEO.
Simon is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Loranne Ausley in Florida Senate District 3.
“Tallahassee has given my family and I the opportunity to succeed and thrive both on the field and off. North Florida is our home, and I want to do everything I can to give back to the community that has given so much to us,” the one-time Pro Bowler said in a statement.
“I am proud to announce my campaign for State Senate, because our community needs a voice that can deliver access to world class educational opportunities, safer neighborhoods and less government regulations on our small business owners.”
On Monday, Simon secured the endorsements of three top GOP leaders: Senate President Wilton Simpson, the top Republican candidate for commissioner of agriculture in 2022, President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo, and Sen. Ben Albritton, who are in line to lead the Senate in the coming years, also backed his bid to flip SD 3.
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DeSantis gave his blessing to Simon’s candidacy on Tuesday.
From Pompano [Beach, where Simon played in high school] to Doak Campbell [Stadium at FSU] to the NFL to leading Volunteer Florida, Corey Simon has been a leader and would make a great addition to the Florida Senate,” DeSantis tweeted.
“I’m proud to endorse my friend @csime90 for Senate District 3.”
Simon’s candidacy conflicts with the Democrats’ favored narrative of the GOP: that it is the party of white supremacists.
This was on display as recently as last Thursday, when congressional Democrats tired to tie the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol rioters to slavery and Jim Crow.
To open the hearing, Mississippi Democratic Rep. Benny Thompson, chairman of the special House Jan. 6 committee, said, “I’m from a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the Klu Klux Klan, and lynching. I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6th, 2021.”
Yet as The Washington Times reported in March, the GOP has fielded at least 81 black candidates in 72 congressional districts for 2022.
That was triple the 27 black Republicans who ran in 2020, and a new record, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
At the time, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Naples told the Times that the GOP’s boost with black candidates is attributable to increased visibility of other black Republicans like himself and failed Democratic policies.
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“They see me. They see [Rep.] Burgess [Owens]. They saw [Rep. Allen West of Florida]. They saw [Rep. Mia Love of Utah]. They see [Virginia Lt. Gov.] Winsome Sears. They see [North Carolina Lt. Gov.] Mark Robinson,” he told the Times. “And what they say is, ‘You know what? Maybe I should step up, too.’”
Donalds added, “They’re seeing the awful things that Democratic policies have brought to their communities, and they’re just not taking it anymore. They’re looking for a new way. And so they’re turning to Republicans because we have the answers.”