Republican candidate, Florida House District 45
Never held elective office.
Executive vice president, Central Christian University
Seminole State College of Florida, A.A., 2014
University of Central Florida, B.A., Political Science and Government, 2016
Carolina Amesty, who is executive vice president at Central Christian University in Orlando, will face four candidates — Vennia Francois, Janet Frevola, Bruno Portigliatti and Mike Zhao — in the Aug. 23 Republican primary for the Florida House District 45 open seat that was held by state Rep. Geraldine Thompson, who is now running for the state Senate District 15 seat.
The winner will square off against Democrat Allie Braswell, who is running unopposed, in the Nov. 8 general election. The district represents northwestern Osceola county and southwestern Orange County, including Windermere, parts of Winter Garden, Ocoee, Gotha, Dr. Phillips and Walt Disney World.
A political newcomer, Amesty’s campaign website says that she will champion conservative values. "Conservative Values [sic] are under attack within the United States. Those with conservative values are labeled as radicals, haters, racists, and a spurn upon the one world order the left seeks to advance. Carolina knows all too well the result of such an autocratic system and will defend the constitution and those it represents.”
Her site adds that Amesty, who lives in Windermere and is of Venezuelan heritage, will “develop legislation at the local and state levels” to defend conservative beliefs, become a “sentinel for leftist legislature seeking to steal our freedoms by sleight of hand” and guard against federal overreach. It also says that the “left” wants to “destroy the nuclear family with legislation designed to indoctrinate your children and strip your rights as a parent away.”
Education is one of Amesty’s key issues. She supports expanding charter schools through universal school choice and is also a supporter of the “Parental Rights in Education” (dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics), which prohibits instruction of gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through the 3rd grade.
That position has landed her an endorsement by former Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who served in the DeSantis administration for three years. Amesty “has been a hands-on leader in our schools, overseeing both K-12 and post-secondary education,” Corcoran, a former Florida House speaker, said in a news release, according to Florida Politics. “She is a passionate supporter of school choice and stood with Gov. DeSantis in his effort to protect parental rights in the classroom,” he added, calling her the “best conservative candidate.”
Her disdain for liberal ideology has also produced a recent 30-second TV ad where she attacks Joe Biden and embraces Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to Florida Politics.
“This election, the choice is clear,” she begins. “Socialism or free markets? Illegal immigration or secure the border? Higher taxes? Or tax cuts? Joe Biden? Or Ron DeSantis. Liberals in Washington are pushing a radical agenda that doesn’t make sense. I’ll stand with Gov. DeSantis against woke corporations and against Joe Biden’s agenda. To protect our constitutional rights. Together, let’s make America Florida,” Amesty said in the ad.
Florida Politics notes that Amesty doesn’t explicitly mention Walt Disney World in the ad but “woke corporations” likely refers to the company in its spat with DeSantis, who pushed for the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District next year in response to the company’s stance against the Don’t Say Gay law. At a July political forum, Amesty and three of her Republican opponents supported the law repealing Disney’s special district.
In that forum, Amesty said if Disney has a special district, then it shouldn’t be allowed to talk about politics, akin to how churches are prohibited from wading into politics at the risk of losing their nonprofit status. “I love Disney. I love going to Disney. I live in the area. Disney Springs is great. Just don’t get involved in politics. Don’t get involved in our children’s education. I stand in favor of parental rights in education and I will always protect our little ones. No indoctrination education. Stick to the theme parks,” she said. However, she later said that she supports Orlando’s theme parks and tourism industry.
Besides Corcoran’s endorsements, Amesty has also received endorsements from state CFO Jimmy Patronis, state Reps. Joe Harding and Stan McClain, state Sen. Danny Burgess and former U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Berstein, among others.