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Senate President Wilton Simpson, Naomi Esther Blemur to battle for Florida agriculture commissioner

Aramis Ayala will seek to unseat Attorney General Ashley Moody
Wilton Simpson, Naomi Esther Blemur, candidates for Florida Agriculture Commissioner
Posted at 10:53 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 23:04:41-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With Nikki Fried running for governor this year, it created an open seat for Florida's agriculture commission.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, defeated James Shaw to become the Republican nominee. Simpson took about 65% of the vote in the race.

Naomi Esther Blemur garnered about 50% of the vote in the Democratic race, defeating Ryan Morales and J.R. Gaillot.

RELATED: Real-time elections results

Simpson has been the president of the Florida Senate since 2020.

Blemur, a first-generation Haitian-American minister, said on her website that she will "advocate for small farmers, clean water, renewable and sustainable energy." She is an elected committeewoman for the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee in District 15.

Simpson, a fifth-generation Floridian, states on this website that he is the "only candidate for Florida's Commissioner of Agriculture with the complete and total endorsement of President Donald Trump."

The commissioner of agriculture in Florida has the following responsibilities:

• Ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food and other consumer products through inspection and testing programs
• Protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices and providing consumer information
• Assisting Florida's farmers and agricultural industries with the production and promotion of agricultural products
• Conserving and protecting the state's agricultural and natural resources by reducing wildfires, promoting environmentally safe agricultural practices, and managing public lands

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Aramis Ayala

Aramis Ayala of Orlando defeated two other candidates to win the Florida attorney general Democratic primary.

Ayala garnered 45% of the vote to defeat Daniel Uhlfelder and Jim Lewis.

She will take on incumbent Attorney General Ashley Moody in the November election.

Moody will be a formidable challenger for Ayala.

Reports in June showed that Moody had amassed more than $5 million in the bank between her campaign and political committee.

Moody has billed herself as a law and order advocate and fighter against federal overreach.

Ayala was Florida's first African-American state attorney and refused to seek the death penalty in cases, which riled then-Gov. Rick Scott. She served as state attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida from 2017 to 2021.