Arguably the sweetest of the sweeping GOP victories on Tuesday that drove Republicans to supermajorities in both halves of the Florida Legislature was the takedown of Democratic Rep. Carlos G. Smith of Orlando.

Radical Orlando Democrat Had Private Eyes On GOP Opponent In Desperate Bid To Keep Office

Arguably the sweetest of the sweeping GOP victories on Tuesday that drove Republicans to supermajorities in both halves of the Florida Legislature was the takedown of Democratic Rep. Carlos G. Smith of Orlando.
Democratic Rep. Carlos G. Smith. Source: Facebook

Arguably the sweetest of the sweeping GOP victories on Tuesday that drove Republicans to supermajorities in both halves of the Florida Legislature was the takedown of Democratic Rep. Carlos G. Smith of Orlando.

Smith, who bills himself as Florida’s “first LGBTQ Latino legislator,” was one of the most radical members of the House, and a harsh critic, even by Democrats’ standards, of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Smith was beaten Tuesday by Republican Susan Plasencia, who received 52 percent of the vote.

Smith, however, did not just go with a fight. He apparently was hoping for an October, or perhaps November, surprise, thanks to a private detective.

The conservative website Florida’s Voice reported a few days before the election that Smith had hired private detectives to dog Plasencia in the hope of proving that she did not live in House District 37, which covers portions of Orange and Seminole counties.

FV Editor-in-Chief Brendon Leslie said in a video posted on the website that Smith “had stooped to a new low” in a now-failed bid to hang on to power.

Smith’s private eyes apparently did get photos of Plasencia that reportedly showed she did not live in the district, as required by law. The photos were leaked to reporters who allied with Smith, Leslie said.

Leslie noted that if it appeared Plasencia did not reside in the district it was because she sometimes stayed with her elderly mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

“This is why good people don’t run for office,” Leslie said, “because of these creepy and disgusting tactics.”

Leslie added that Smith has a well-earned reputation in Tallahassee for “bullying,” even among fellow Democrats.

He also showed examples of Smith lashing out at voters who disagreed with him. In one tweet shared by Leslie, Smith rails about voters as “freaking lunatics.” Another time he referred to critics as “raving QAnon lunatics.”

Plasencia told Florida Politics, which received the photos from the private detectives, that she worries for other caregivers who come and go to her mother’s home. That’s because the photos “showed vehicles and license plates for the individuals she is living with at a home off Colonial Drive.”

“I didn’t appreciate other members of my household were exposed like that,” she told the website.

“I chose to be in public office. I chose to be in the public eye. They did not. I didn’t think it was fair to expose them to that, especially given the reason I wasn’t there.”

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