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I am Naomi Esther Blemur, your Democratic Nominee for Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

I am running to keep this seat blue, succeeding the only statewide elected Democrat: Nikki Fried. I am a mother, a pastor, and a small business owner who wants to leave a better future for my children and yours. As your next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I want to share my vision with you.

Over the course of the past several weeks, I have had a significant number of people approach me about whether I support the LGBT community and your rights. I want to say on the record that I have always supported your community and will always support your community. I am an ally of the LGBT community. I strongly believe that we all deserve to be happy and live fulfilling lives. No one should be targeted, oppressed, or discriminated against because of who they are. When elected, Florida voters can count on me to be the voice they need through advocacy. To showcase my commitment to these values, my campaign brought aboard a member of the LGBT community: Elijah Manley, who is our statewide LGBTQIA+ Coordinator. Manley leads our efforts to engage, mobilize and connect with the LGBT community, foster strong relationships, and ensure that LGBT residents receive effective advocacy statewide.

I opposed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, as well as any legislation (i.e., Fairness in Women’s Sports Act) that targets a group of Floridians or marginalized people. My opponent was one of the main sponsors of the “Don’t Say Gay” law. As the next Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I will champion the issues and causes important to this community and consumers. Every Floridian deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of who they are or who they love.

Furthermore, the current Commissioner, Nikki Fried, has a statewide advocate for the LGBT community. When elected as the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, I will keep that position. I can assure you that my opponent will not. As Commissioner, I will promote and advance pro-equality policies through an advocate for the community at the state level, whose responsibility will be to engage, inform, educate, and keep my administration aware of rising concerns, opportunities, and the resources that members of the LGBT community need from their Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Finally, I have become aware of the growing concern in the LGBT community. That is, the growing issue of access to home healthcare for LGBT seniors. This issue will be a top priority of mine when elected.

America, and the state of Florida needs rapid and accessible healthcare and home care for LGBT communities, and by extension – LGBT seniors. Florida is a fast-growing state, and one of the fastest-growing populations is seniors. Additionally, LGBT seniors are a growing population, and by extension so is the need for high-quality home healthcare. I’ve heard you, and that’s why in my first 100 days I will meet with lawmakers and stakeholders to advocate for major action to ensure that LGBT seniors get the healthcare and homecare that they deserve and so desperately need. I will continue to listen to you, learn from you, and build with you.

Naomi Esther Blemur is the Democratic Nominee for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.