Democratic candidate, Florida House District 45
Chair, Garden Theatre Board
Chair, Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Advisory Committee
Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute Advisory Council,
Secretary of Veteran Affairs Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans
Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for the State of Florida (Central)
Business Management, Diversity Consultant
Webster University, M.A., Human Resource Management
American Intercontinental Technology, B.S., Information Technology
As the single Democrat in this race to fill the seat left open by Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson (now running for state Senator in District 15 against Democrat state Rep. Kamia Brown), Allie Braswell will face the winner of the five-way Republican primary in the Nov. 3 general election. Mike Zhao, Carolina Amesty, Vennia François, Janet Frevola and Bruno Portgliatti are running in the Aug. 23 primary.
Longtime civic leader and former Marine, Braswell, 60, of Ocoee, entered the race in honor of his late wife, a community leader who died suddenly in November. “I’m doing it in Shellie’s name,” Braswell told VoxPopuli in May. “I’m doing what Shellie would have wanted me to do.”
(The Braswell Group is a donor to VoxPopuli.)
If elected, Braswell wants to be assigned to one of the education subcommittees to work on paying teachers “a fair and living wage for what they do and properly fund education so they don’t have to dip into their wallets in order to keep their classrooms going,” he told VoxPopuli at the Pine Hills Community Council’s “People’s Hob Nob” in July. “They shouldn’t be the lowest paid person. They’re the most important people we have.”
Braswell, who’s been endorsed by the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, also wants to reverse the Parental Rights in Education Act — what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law, currently being challenged in U.S. District Court. “I do not believe any teacher walks into a classroom with an intention of indoctrinating anyone into any type of belief. I think they walk into a classroom with a desire to teach kids. We have to prepare our kids for 2022. We can’t revert back to 1952.”
He said more work still needs to be done on the property insurance issue and wants to see any incentives offered to insurance companies tied to a decrease in premium rates. On affordable housing, he said “Stop raiding the Sadowski Fund. We need to leave it alone.” Established in 1992, the program provides a dedicated annual revenue for affordable housing projects across the state. He wants to incentivize developers to add more affordable housing inventory to the market, create public-private partnerships and get state and local governments working together to increase affordable housing stock.
Braswell also pledges to hold “ corporate polluters accountable and work to build partnerships between state governments and businesses” to reduce agricultural runoff into our waterways, according to his campaign website.
A former Disney executive, Braswell opposed Gov. Ron DeSantis’s dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which goes into effect June 2023. In a statement, Braswell called it “a hastily written and wholly unstudied plan in order to score political points.”
Braswell is a strong defender of women’s reproductive rights and would vote against further restrictions on abortion access. “I don’t believe we should legislate that,” he told VoxPopuli. “We have to look at the back end of that. We turn to some terrible practices and [there are] unfortunate deaths in our community when we don’t do this correctly.” He also favors funding for access to contraception to lower the rates of unintended pregnancies as well as expanding social service programs to assist families.
Braswell briefly ran for state chief financial officer in 2014, but after three bankruptcies were reported, he apologized to supporters and withdrew from the race.
He served 13 years in the Marine Corps as a signal intelligence analyst and cryptologic linguist, wrote a book about rediscovering your life’s purpose and was CEO for the Central Florida Urban League. He has built his career on creating diverse and inclusive workplaces at companies like Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Mayo Clinic, Vystar Credit Union and his own consulting firm, The Braswell Group.
Several organizations and individuals endorsed Braswell, including the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist, Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado, Orange County Sheriff John Mina, state Reps. Travaris McCurdy and Anna Eskamani, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Ocoee City Commissioner Larry Brinson.