Would-be opponent to Richard Corcoran calls for his resignation over Broward Sheriff remarks

In a letter using Corcoran's own words about Sheriff Scott Israel, Democrat Tammy Garcia called the house speaker "incompetent and derelict" in his duties.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran. - Florida House of Representatives
Florida House of Representatives
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

Tammy Garcia is currently the sole Democrat running in Florida House District 37, the seat held by the Speaker of the Florida House, Richard Corcoran

The primary contest on the Republican side for the Lutz seat, in contrast, is a bit crowded, with four GOP candidates apparently vying. 

Noticeably absent from that list, currently, is Corcoran himself. That could be because he's widely believed to be announcing a bid for governor in the coming weeks.

But that hasn't stopped Garcia from taking shots at the staunch conservative over his criticisms of a key law enforcement official involved in the response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland.

Over the weekend, Corcoran sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott calling on Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to resign due to "incompetence and dereliction of duty" in the wake of the shooting. (He has said he won't.)

Signed by some 73 other Republican lawmakers, the letter pointed to alleged failures in the response to the shooting, namely that deputies didn't go inside the school to confront shooter Nikolaus Cruz. (A deputy who was at the scene has since said he had believed the shooter was outside.)

Corcoran also wrote that authorities missed multiple red flags about Cruz.

Israel is a Democrat, and Corcoran is a Republican.

Garcia wrote a letter to Corcoran pointing out how, as speaker, he himself could have prevented yet another mass shooting in Florida by pushing stronger gun laws.

"I am appalled that a legislator that has failed to bring forth gun legislation despite the Pulse Shooting occurring under his tenure as Speaker is calling for resignation of anyone," she said in an email.

Here's the full text of her letter:

Richard Corcoran,

It has come to my attention that you would like Governor Scott to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for what you call "incompetence and dereliction of duty." In honor of holding those officials that are "incompetent and derelict in their duties" responsible, I am asking you to step down not only as Speaker of the House, but as a Florida State Representative.

You have been serving as a Representative in Florida since 2010 and not once have you offered legislation on curbing gun violence prior to the Parkland Mass Shooting. On June 12, 2016, under your watch as Speaker of the House, a gunman opened fire at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people and injured 58 with a semi-automatic assault weapon and a Glock. It was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in America by a single shooter. Instead of banning assault weapons after this, you did nothing. Then on October 1, 2017 came the Las Vegas shooting, overtaking Pulse as the deadliest mass shooting leaving 58 people dead and 851 people injured. Instead of moving to ban bump stocks or assault weapons, you again did nothing. HB321, sponsored by David Richardson, has not been moved on. At no point have you brought legiation to improve mental healthcare or schools. Instead, your budget slashed funding for education making it impossible for schools to make safety improvements even if they wanted to. February 14, 2018, a murderer descended upon Parkland with a legally obtained assault weapon because you failed to implement any gun regulation despite numerous mass shootings during your time in office.

It is for the reasons such as those outlined above that Floridians call for your resignation, effective immediately. Additionally, due to your "incompetence and dereliction of duty", we ask you to not run for any political office in Florida, such as governor, ever again.

The state of Florida has seen too many lives lost at the hands of poor leadership in Tallahassee. Floridians deserve better.


Tammy Garcia-Mother, Floridian, and Candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 37 in 2018.I will make the changes you have failed to act on.

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