Florida Agriculture Commissioner

Florida Agriculture Commissioner

Two Republicans and three Democrats are seeking votes to replace Nikki Fried as the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The winner of each primary will face each other in the November election.

News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate asking about their background and their views on several issues. Scroll down to read the responses of those seeking your vote in their own words.

Note: Responses are sorted alphabetically by party and are presented exactly as submitted, with no editing by News4Jax staff.

  DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

Naomi Esther Blemur

Occupation: Consultant, Business Owner

Age: (No response)

Family: Son

Education: Undergrad: Queen’s College, Masters in Business Administration

Political experience: DNC Member for North Miami

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

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Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • Life in the state of Florida is getting too expensive and it is not because of inflation alone, it is because companies are putting profit over people. In the same way, housing insurance, and rent prices are too high and small companies are getting priced out. Therefore, we should find ways to regulate large corporations and provide incentives for companies that are willing to put Floridians first.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

  • It’s true that some of the highest amounts of voter fraud in the country took place in FL. Our department of state successfully investigated those issues and prosecuted the individuals responsible. Returning many of the forms of accessible voting options, while not in the scope of my office when elected, would be something I’d advocate for.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • As a mother to a young child, the thought of my child going to school with the possibility of my son not coming terrifies me. We must close the loophole that allows individuals to get weapon licenses without background checks. Raise the minimum purchase age for firearms to 21 years of age. Under my administration, every application for a concealed permit to carry will be vetted.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  1. Homeownership is completely unattainable for much of our population. Without home ownership, working-class families and middle-income families are at risk of being taken advantage of.

  2. Small businesses being pushed out by big box stores and creating food deserts, as well as the loss of the “family-owned farm” will quickly create an even more unaffordable state.

  3. Water quality issues, whether through pollution, saltwater intrusion, or other forms of contamination disproportionately affect lower-income families.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Row v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • I am for the ability of every woman to have the right to choose.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • I’m deeply connected to a network of small businesses and nonprofits across our state, owned largely by black and brown people, women, and other minorities. I see their needs, I feel their struggles. Addressing those will help families and businesses with similar struggles across the state. With over 20 years of experience in retail management, commercial banking, and not-for-profit management, I am ready to be an advocate for small farmers to obtain capital.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • What inspired me to run for this office is my grandmother who was a farm worker in the United States. I come from a family of farmers as I am a first-generation Haitian American and a woman who works hard. I want Floridians to know they had an advocate in Florida’s cabinet fighting for a cleaner Florida, farmers, and an advocate of what we produce, a fighter for renewable energy. Most importantly, a mother who vetted concealed weapon license applications because every child should be protected by our elected officials as much as they protect their own.

Campaign website: naomiblemur.com

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Campaign’s social media site(s): LinkedIn – linktr.ee/naomiforfl


J. R. Gaillot

J. R. Gaillot

Occupation: (No response)

Age: (No response)

Your family: Wife Dayanara and daughter Brianna

Education: BA in Politics & Government, and BA in Political Economy from University of Hartford

Political experience: Ran for Florida’s Congressional District 3 in 2012

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • Prices for rent, gas, and food are skyrocketing, and no one in power is doing anything to protect Floridans from these rising costs. Large corporations like Nestle, Tyson Foods, and PepsiCo control the food and drink supply industries, and have the ability to continuously raise their prices for goods and services. We must tackle inflation now by demanding large corporations stop overcharging their consumers for food and other basic necessities, and enact fair rates that will no longer cause a financial burden for paycheck to paycheck households.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

  • Felony disenfranchisement is a practice that dates back to the late 1800′s. What started as a way to keep minority groups out of the political conversation continues to plague our democracy. This system tied to racial discrimination needs to end. I proudly support extending suffrage to more Americans, it is time that we take this step forward as a nation and demand individuals have more access to representation.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • Individuals should be at least 21 years old and be required to submit to full background checks before they are allowed to register for a gun permit. We need stricter gun laws in this era, where guns are the leading cause of death for our children in Florida. We do not need more laissez faire gun laws that make it easier for these weapons to end up in the wrong hands.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

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  1. Affordable housing is at crisis level in Florida, and the recent special session meant to address this issue did not do much in the sense of protecting Floridians from rent increases. As prices for rent continue to rise, enforcing a rent hike cap would help alleviate the financial stress from renters, while also protecting landlords ability to maintain a profit.

  2. Inflation is making it difficult for families to meet the financial threshold for rent, bills, and basic necessities. We must alleviate the financial burden our people are facing by ending price gouging and regulating dominant corporations so they are not able to charge unnecessarily high rates for products in which they control the supply chain.

  3. After the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, it is obvious that access to safe reproductive health care is at risk. Low income families already lack access to menstrual products and contraceptives due to their high cost, and limiting access to further reproductive healthcare measures will only lead to more unsafe health practices by those who have no other option.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Row v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • I believe all women deserve the right to have access to safe abortions and contraceptions. Reproductive health care is just as important as any other form of healthcare, and the states and insurance companies need to recognize this by increasing access to these critical services.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • By showing that I am a candidate who is not afraid to speak out against the majority and demand consumer protections for everyday citizens, I hope to show voters that I am the person who will actually protect them against the predatory practices and corporate greed that is harming the people of our state.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • Expanding consumer protections to reflect the needs of all Floridians, not just the values of the rich. I hope to work towards bridging the wage gap between the upper and lower class, by tackling predatory practices that target low income families and end up causing them a financial burden while the wealthy profit. Protecting all citizens means acknowledging the economic warfare and corporate greed that disproportionately affect certain groups, hindering equal access to opportunity and wellbeing.

Campaign website: jrgaillot.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): Facebook – JR4Florida | Twitter – @jrgaillot | Instagram – @jr_gaillot


Ryan Morales

Ryan Morales

Occupation: Marketing and Business Consultant

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Family: Wife Tammy and 2 daughters Leilani 9 and Anika 7

Education: University of William Paterson and Institute of Audio Research

Political experience: candidate

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • I will use my marketing skills to improve Fresh from Florida and make it a Worldwide Brand which would aim to help give our economy a boost by exporting our products to others.

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

  • Need to protect our democracy. I can’t do much as Ag Commissioner but I can fight to keep election integrity.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • Universal Background checks should be mandatory. Expand the check to include Social Media and the requirement of Spousal or next of Kin approval.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  • our state is facing an ecological meltdown and if we done reverse course we will lose the Everglades and clean waters forever. Our nation also has a major Q anon disinformation problem that needs to be mitigated ASAP.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Row v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

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  • I can’t legislate but I would like to see these Supreme Court Justices impeached and removed since they are not legitimate justices.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • I come with solutions ready to go to clean up our environment and fix the mess that is causing our algae blooms destroying our ecology here.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • The person who helped save and restore the everglades and all our waterways!

Campaign website: moralesforflorida.com

Campaign’s social media site(s): FacebookMoralesforFL

James Shaw

James W. Shaw

Occupation: Former Trucking executive..current owner compost facility.

Age: 62

Family: Married 40 years, 8 children,22 grandchildren

Education: Colgate University ‘83

Political experience: None

We asked our most-loyal viewers (News4Jax Insiders) what three issues they would most like candidates to address:

Viewers’ No. 1 issue: The economy

  • The supply chain and affordable energy are the most needed for a strong economy..To keep the economy going fuel, diesel, natural gas prices need to be kept in check. No greater way to destroy an economy than to make energy expensive…once energy costs increase food, products, etc.increase. Joe Biden, the US has oil ! Cut it loose !

Viewers’ No. 2 issue: Voter rights/election integrity

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  • Voting integrity is the foundation of a civil ‚democratic society. We need proper ID to purchase alcohol, cigarettes, drive a car. Proper ID in voting should not be an exception. Computerized voting should also be eliminated. Anything that can be programmed is at high risk for corruption. One piece of paper, one vote.

Viewers’ No. 3 issue: Gun rights/gun safety

  • The first amendment gave us freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. The second amendment was written to protect the public against government tyranny that would attempt to take those rights away. Currently , the cities that have the strictest gun laws are those that have the highest gun crime. NO MORE RESTRICTION. Follow the gun laws that are currently on the books.

News4Jax asked each candidate three additional questions to help voters determine which most agrees with their views:

What do you see as the top three issues facing the state and nation over the next two years?

  • National security, food availability, affordable energy.

Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States?

  • According to voting records, Joe Biden is the most popular president ever with 81 million votes. Really ? At the night of the election a number of states just stopped counting and resumed the next day. This past presidential election had a number of ” head scratching” events. Whether Joe Biden won legitimately is always going to be a discussion. The issue is Joe Biden is in and this country needs lots of prayer.

In light of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Row v. Wade, would you propose or support additional laws either banning abortion entirely or guaranteeing reproductive rights?

  • 100% against abortion. The DNA footprint has been established at conception.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

  • Every elected official has to be an advocate for the people in their district, state, or country. I’ve been married 40 years, raised 8 kids, have 22 grandchildren. I’ve been an employee, a boss, and an owner. I want to be a guardian for the people of Florida. I can relate to the every day issues of every Floridian.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

  • During these perilous times we may be facing as a nation and state, upon the end of the tenure let it be said, ” He was the right man for the job “.

Campaign website: Votejim.us

Campaign’s social media site(s): Facebook

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Wilton Simpson

Wilton Simpson

This candidate has not responded to email and telephone invitations to submit the News4Jax candidate questionnaire. His answers will be added promptly if the questionnaire is returned at any point prior to election day.

Campaign website: wiltonsimpson.com

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