Florida Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Senator Corey Simon Talks Border Crisis and His Democratic Challenger

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TALLAHASSEE, FL—A former NFL star and current Florida Senator, Corey Simon of North Florida's Senate District 3, talks immigration and an election challenge from Daryl Parks, the former co-counsel for Trayvon Martin's family.

Simon, a Republican and former Defensive Lineman, touched on Senator Blaise Ingoglia's proposed bill allowing Florida officials to imprison and deport illegal immigrants.

He told The Floridian that while he supports the ideas behind the bill, he would have to take a look at its language before fully endorsing it.

"When we look at the number of folks who are coming over here into this country, Washington D.C. has done absolutely nothing to combat the issue," Simon said, pointing to 2023's historic high of 2.4 million total migrant encounters at the southern border.

"The drugs that are flowing across our border and the human trafficking that's occurring throughout our country have only been elevated because of the open border policy that we currently serve under—we have to do what's necessary to protect Floridians."

In 2023, a total of 241,000 pounds of various drugs were seized by Border Patrol at the southern border, more than half of which was methamphetamine.

As for the border policy, President Joe Biden has been under fire for his 535 immigration actions taken in his first three years in office, extending protections to hundreds of thousands of migrants and narrowing the enforcement priority categories for illegal immigrants.

"The Race Will Be What It is"

Simon turned to popular Leon County civil rights attorney Daryl Parks, a Democratic challenger hoping to unseat the former Defensive Lineman. The two are vying for office in North Florida's historically blue Senate District 3, which encompasses thirteen counties.

Elected in 2022, Simon was the district's first Republican Senator in over a decade.

Parks, meanwhile, was the co-counsel for Trayvon Martin's family, a teen whose murder sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. In Parks' first 24 hours after announcing his campaign, he raised over $100,000 to return Senate District 3's seat to blue.

However, Simon tells us, he isn't thinking about the upcoming battle for the district. Instead, he says, he's focusing on "the people."

"I'm really not focusing on running a race as much as I am serving the people, and I think that's where my priorities have always been and that's where they'll continue to be. There's still a Democratic primary that [Parks] is going to have to get through, and then once that happens, we'll start talking about where we are," said Simon, referencing Parks' sole Democratic challenger for the nomination—Gadsden County Commissioner Eugene Kimblin Nesmith.

"The race will be what it is. At this point, I still have legislative business to take care of—and that's serving the people of the district," Simon added.

He also discussed bills he plans to file in the 2025 Legislative Session, though told us he can't get into specifics because they are still "works in progress."

"Some of the things that I'm going to be working on are from the education space and making sure that we expand opportunities for families to get the best education possible—a lot of that has to do with our public education system and trying to strengthen that," he said, noting his education deregulation bill that passed after a series of key points were removed from its language.

"There's some things that got passed and there's some things that didn't get across the finish line, so definitely coming back to attack some of those issues," he concluded.

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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