Gay Gillespie Valimont is a mother and gun violence prevention activist in Pensacola, Florida who has devoted her life to improving public safety. Gay earned a bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science from Georgia Southern University, her National Athletic Trainers Association accreditation, and her M.A. in Education from Troy State University before pursuing her career in sports medicine in Atlanta.
There she worked for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and, later, Emory Sports Medicine as an athletic trainer. As Gay built relationships with her players, they told her about their fears around the everyday gun violence some experienced in their neighborhoods. She knew there had to be solutions that could keep her players and community safe and decided then that she couldn’t accept just sitting on the sidelines.
During her time in Atlanta, she met her husband Brian Valimont and started a family, giving birth to their son Eli in 2012. Together the family made the move to Pensacola for the incredible beaches and good public schools for Eli. While Gay couldn’t have been happier as a stay-at-home mother to Eli, she felt a pull to serve after the Sandy Hook School shooting unfolded and got involved.
She joined Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America locally and stayed engaged, even when Brian’s job moved them to Naples. By 2016, Gay was a full-time grassroots activist and had worked her way up to Florida State Lead. Her decade of leadership in gun violence prevention helped to expand Florida’s Moms Demand Action Chapter by over 400%, engaging new volunteers and effectively pushing for legislative change.
In 2020, Gay faced the unimaginable when her husband Brian was diagnosed with ALS and a few months later their 8-year-old son Eli was diagnosed with DIPG, a rare and terminal brain tumor. Gay served as the primary caretaker for both until they passed away, within months of each other. She then returned to Pensacola – where her family was happiest – with more drive than ever and a knowledge that there’s no time to waste. Now Gay is running for Congress to bring compassion, integrity, and genuine representation to a district she deeply loves. Grounded in community, care, and unity, Gay believes in a brighter future for Florida.