Tiffany Hughes

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Democratic candidate, Florida House District 39

Public Service

Never held elective office.

Occupation

Co-owner, KBI Staffing Solutions LLC

Education

  • Florida International University, B.S., Communications with Minor in Marketing, 2012

  • Full Sail University, Master's, Entertainment Business Management, 2013

Religion

Baptist

Tiffany Hughes, the former president of the Orange County branch of the NAACP, is running unopposed in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary for the open seat in state House District 39. The newly formed district includes parts of Winter Garden and Ocoee, Apopka, and southwestern Seminole County.


A Longwood resident, Hughes is co-owner, along with her husband, of KBI Staffing Solutions LLC, since 2015. Before then she worked for JPMorgan Chase Bank and Columbia University. In her campaign website, she describes herself as a community activist and an education advocate, including mentoring at Seminole High School through the nonprofit Take Stock in Children program. While her campaign website lacks any mention of her positions, her activism and support for liberal and progressive issues is well known.


In late May, at state Rep. Anna Eskamani’s rally for abortion rights Hughes fiercely spoke about keeping Florida pro-choice. “We cannot allow government to legislate a person’s right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions,” she said at the rally.


In an April interview with The Apopka Voice, Hughes said she’s running to represent people who are typically underrepresented. "I'm the voice I don't hear enough of in the Florida Legislature," she told the newspaper. "Someone who's a business owner, a mother, and a wife who can understand the nuances of a diverse community."


In that interview, she said, if she’s elected, she would take a bipartisan mindset to the Republican-dominated legislature to support bills that benefit her community. “We may be on different sides of the aisle, but that doesn't mean we can't get things done together. I like to say there are no foes in the community where you work.”

She specifically talked about helping small businesses as well as addressing the affordable housing crisis and healthcare. “It is important to be healthy and have access to affordable health insurance and what that looks like to our communities … That's a priority for me."


Although it’s her first time running for elective office, Hughes has previous experience in politics, government and grassroots activism. Her LinkedIn page lists earning certificates for the NAACP’s NextGen Leadership Cohort and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s political bootcamp. She also was a member of Orange County’s Community Development Advisory Board in 2019 and was vice chair for the city of Orlando’s Certification Appeals Board in 2018.


She has also received an array of endorsements from prominent Democratic office holders and organizations, including: Eskamani, Orange County Property Appraiser Amy Mercado, state Sen. Victor Torres as well as the Central Florida AFL-CIO, the Florida Democratic Public Education Caucus, the Florida Education Association, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, National Organization for Women of Central Florida, Ruth’s List Florida, Service Employees International Union, Way to Lead PAC. She was also named one of the 2022 Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Gun Sense Candidates of Distinction!


Notably, Orange County Sheriff John Mina, a Democrat, has endorsed Hughes, saying that she “supports public safety and has the necessary experience to be an effective representative for District 39.”

Last year, Mina faced backlash over a tweet in which he wrote several times, “Follow the instructions of law enforcement” in the aftermath of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Tyalor and other Black people killed by law enforcement. Hughes, who was the new local NAACP chapter at the time, sought a meeting with — and handwritten apology from — Mina. According to an Orlando Sentinel story, she got it.

“If our community didn’t know we were here, didn’t feel like we were here, I certainly want to change that narrative,” Hughes, who was the youngest president of the group, told the newspaper.  “As the most prominent — in my opinion — voice nationally for civil rights, there is no reason that our local voice does not echo that.” She added that it’s not an “us against the police” agenda but working with them to improve relationships and foster change such as ending qualified immunity, which protects government officials from lawsuits.

— Dibya Sarkar