- Cesar Fernandez, shown here without his foot in his mouth.
The 24-year-old campaign manager credited with engineering Rick Kriseman’s victory in the St. Pete mayor's race boastfully tweeted this week that the candidate did not need the African-American vote after all to win the election.
One thing is certain, Rick Kriseman will need the support of the city’s African-Americans to lead Florida’s fourth-largest city.
Cesar Fernandez’s bragging on social media made that job harder this week for the mayor-elect.
Monday, Kriseman worked to distance himself from Fernandez’s statement, which was a tweeted analysis of the election results.
Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times that the statement was insensitive and certainly does not reflect his views.
“I was honored to have it,” Kriseman said of the support he received from African-American voters. The city's black communities were considered a swing vote in the final days of the hard-fought race.
Fernandez issued an apologia, but that spirit of goodwill that Kriseman worked hard to cultivate with black voters seemed a bit tarnished a week after the election.
“Kriseman couldn’t have won last Tuesday without his broad, diverse coalition of support. My analysis failed to recognize that and I apologize,” @cesarfernandezD tweeted Monday night.
African-American voters overwhelmingly supported the candidate. Kriseman had pledged to bring the city together and put greater attention on business development in Midtown.
Ray Tampa, former head of the local NAACP, told the Tampa Bay Times that he knows how hard Kriseman worked to win that support, which makes Fernandez’s comments even more regrettable.
More harassment allegations: A former Hillsborough County executive is claiming anti-gay harassment after resigning from her job amid allegations that she harassed employees.
The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that Erica Moore, who directed Children’s Services for the county, resigned from her six-figure job after an internal investigation found that she repeatedly gave unsolicited sexual advice to female employees.
Moore also allegedly engaged in unwanted touching, according to two female workers, TBO.com reported.
Moore, however, contends that she essentially was forced out of her job because she is a lesbian. "I resigned because the die was cast against me because I am gay," Moore said in a written statement.
Sixteen allegations were made against Moore, with 12 supported by the investigation.
Speed bump on Florida highways: Who needs high-speed rail when you can speed on Florida’s highways?
Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, whose district covers parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough, is co-sponsoring a bill that would raise the speed limit to 75 mph on state highways.
Brandes and co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth Democrat, said raising the speed limit by 5 mph will reflect how fast people really drive. The bill is expected to be introduced today.
Brandes said that he is just trying to help Florida drivers get to their destinations more quickly without getting a speeding ticket along the way.
The St. Augustine Record is reporting that Florida lawmakers, who travel long distances on state highways, are often the victim of costly speeding tickets.