Get To Know J.R.
Known to his family as “Rene” or “Ti Rene” (Little Rene), Jacques Rene Gaillot Jr, was born in New York City and is fluent in English, French, Haitian Creole, and conversational Spanish. His father, a Haitian diplomat, worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Because of his father's work as Consul General he grew up in Hamburg, Germany, Tokyo, Japan, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
J.R. graduated from Quisqueya Christian School (QCS) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and attended the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT, earning BA degrees in Politics and Government and Political Economy. He is currently finishing up a graduate degree from Harvard in 2023 with a Master’s in International Relations.
J.R. has worked as a legislative director and advisor with multiple national and international companies ranging from fortune 500s to small businesses and startups. In 2012 J.R. became the first Haitian-American Democrat to appear on a general election ballot when he became the Democratic nominee for Florida’s 3rd congressional district.
J.R. is a proud father to his daughter, Brianna, who is following in her grandfather's footsteps while studying at Sorbonne Assas Law School in Paris, France. He is also happily married to his wonderful wife, Dayanara.
“No matter how tough things look, keep the faith; you will get there.”
As a child, J.R. was greatly influenced by his grandmother’s belief that "all of us are equals and that means everyone deserves respect." During his time in Haiti especially, J.R. came to the realization that "the poor will always teach you more about the world than the rich."
This was J.R.'s reason for starting out as a counselor setting up halfway houses and why he got into politics as an intern for Senator Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. It pushed him to join the advisory board of Unite Blue and work for candidates like Andrew Gillum and Kendrick Meeks.
The job of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services is about protecting people. It is about representing the interests of those with no power and putting a stop to predatory practices.
For most of his career, he's worked as a "fixer." Isn't that the kind of person you want looking out for you in Tallahassee?