This November, you may be surprised to see more names on the ballot for governor than you expect.
There are eight other candidates who have qualified for the election for governor of Florida aside from incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis and major Democratic candidates Nikki Fried, commissioner of agriculture, and Charlie Crist, a St. Petersburg congressman and former governor. Here’s who they are.
Cadance Daniel, a 35-year-old Democratic candidate from Jacksonville, said she’s running to give a voice to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated constituents in Florida.
Growing up in rural Northeast Florida, Daniel developed a passion for agricultural reform and food security in support of farmers, she wrote in an email. As governor, she plans to roll out an energy economic stimulus package, which will fight against inflation by using solar panels.
“I would like to decrease racial disparity and bring further equality between social groups conditioned to believe that we are all starkly different,” Daniel wrote in an email. “This is exactly what myself and my Lieutenant Governor DyLisa McClinton intend to do.”
Daniel has a campaign website and has raised $9,041.92 in contributions as of Monday.
Carmen Jackie Gimenez
Carmen Jackie Gimenez, a 60-year-old, self-employed, no-party candidate from Hallandale Beach said she is running because of her knowledge, love and concern for people’s needs.
Born in Venezuela, Gimenez said she escaped from the regime and moved to Argentina, where she eventually went to Metropolitana University and studied business option management. She said she has several advanced degrees.
Gimenez unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Hallandale Beach in 2020. Some of the main policy issues she is concerned about are children’s safety in schools and immigration. She said Florida needs to unify and that current politicians are dividing people instead.
“This is a race for a person who is concerned about the situation of our citizens and solving the problems internally,” Gimenez said.
Gimenez has not had any campaign contributions.
Jodi Gregory Jeloudov
Jodi Gregory Jeloudov is a 48-year-old disabled veteran from Jensen Beach running with no party affiliation. Jeloudov, an LGBTQ+ transgender woman, said basic civil rights are under attack in Florida.
Women’s rights and access to abortion, better access to voting and fixing a broken criminal justice system are some of the issues Jeloudov said she is focusing on. She said she would change the intolerance and bigotry that occurs in Florida under the current administration and would repeal laws like the “don’t say gay” bill as governor.
“I’m here to stop this totalitarianism and get the governor accountable,” Jeloudov said.
Jeloudov served in the Army in 2009. Jeloudov has $7,000 in contributions as of Monday.
The Libertarian Party candidate is Hector Roos, a 39-year-old political consultant who grew up in Miami. Roos is an alumnus of Florida International University, where he studied engineering. He became a political consultant after he served on Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
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Property insurance reform and water quality issues are two of the main policy areas Roos is focusing on as part of his campaign, he wrote in an email. He also supports a clean slate or pardon for anyone who committed a nonviolent crime and has served time.
“I want people to come first for a change in Florida government,” Roos wrote in an email. “The state government has abandoned the people with a massive internet sales tax in the middle of the lockdowns, runaway property insurance premiums caused by building a new home in Florida impossible for the average person, and continuing to promote a legal system that serves only those who can afford it.”
Roos has raised $3,095 in contributions as of Monday.
Robert Willis, a 68-year-old K-6 school teacher in Cocoa, is running in the Democratic primary because he says people are being mistreated in Florida.
Willis is an ordained minister and has 10 siblings. He is an alumnus of Florida A&M University, where he studied criminal justice and elementary education. He said some of the issues he is concerned about are how veterans are treated and how education is handled in Florida, specifically how critical race theory should be taught as critical race history, he said. Willis has taught government studies for 24 years.
“I feel that I’m very capable,” Willis said. “I’ve seen everything I could possibly see in Florida, and it’s just a sad situation right now. And I’m disappointed in the way things are.”
Willis has raised $5,853 in contributions as of Monday and has a campaign website.
Three write-in candidates
Write-in candidates Kyle KC Gibson, James Thompson and Piotr Blass also qualified in the race.
Gibson, who previously ran in 2014, is from Tamarac. He has raised $576.48 in contributions as of Monday. Thompson, a veteran and an author, is from St. Petersburg. He has not raised any money. Blass is from Boynton Beach and has not had any contributions. When asked to be interviewed, Blass responded with a string of text messages:
“Yes Any Time But You Are Not Serious Or Honest I Am!!!”
The names of write-in candidates do not appear on the ballot but are legally qualified to run for the office. Voters have to enter their names on the ballot in order to vote for them.
By Anna Wilder