As the November midterm elections rapidly approach, many candidates are ramping up appearances, doubling down on party rhetoric and reasserting to the public just how important this upcoming election is.
But one candidate has taken an unusual route to earning the public’s trust by circumventing both interviews and candidate forums alike.
Corey Simon, a former star football player at Florida State who went on to play in the NFL, is running as a Republican in District 3’s State Senate race against incumbent Loranne Ausley.
He has been dubbed “media shy” after cancelling his second debate with Ausley and the League of Women Voters after claiming the organization is “overtly partisan.” He called the event, which was co-sponsored by the Tallahassee Democrat and WFSU, a “liberal farce to fool voters.”
Simon, who has already been granted an extraordinary advantage by fellow Republican and Governor Ron DeSantis, after a redistricting campaign that turned the previously Democratic district into a Republican stronghold by splitting up the more than 46% concentration of Black voters and reallocating them to neighboring districts, would create a supermajority in the Senate if he wins the District 3 race. An outcome that Simon has given little commentary toward in regard to just how well he’ll fare.
After two weeks of unsuccessful attempts by The Famuan to reach Simon — including emails and a call to a campaign phone number that sends callers to an unmanned Google phone line — the Republican Senate nominee has made it clear he has no interest in granting an interview to The Famuan.
Simon shares a host of the same platforms as his contemporaries in the Senate, including uncertainty over the legitimacy of President Biden’s 2020 election victory and alluding to loose immigration policies allowing illegal votes for Democrats in defense of DeSantis’ decision to fly dozens of Venezuelans from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. During the debate against Ausley at the Tiger Bay Club, Simon blamed the state’s housing insurance crisis on Ausley’s inactiveness and refusal to get to the problem, an overarching theme about her tenure in office.
Ausley, who is among the minority in the chamber, pointed to continuous opposition from the Republicans and asserted that most issues voted on in the Legislature are decided by the constituent’s party affiliation more often than they are the merit of the bill being introduced. Simon has argued that he is an “independent thinker” who will do more than just vote along party lines, but when asked about his stance on controversial matters such as the 15-week ban on abortion and what side he may err on in the future.
“I think there should be exceptions for the health of the mother and both rape and incest,” Simon said. “But how far are we willing to go? Partial-birth abortion? 26-36 weeks? How far until we are looking at murder? I think the current 15-week ban may be somewhere about right, but I am certainly for those concessions and not for locking mothers up for their own choices.”
While Simon showed that there is at least a moderate deviation from his far-right counterparts in his thinking toward public office, there is simply not enough to gauge just what his election to the Florida Senate would mean to a group in power who already maintain the majority in the state. This is one of the many things where a word from him would help to clarify his position.