Next leader of Florida Democrats resigns amid sexual harassment allegations
House Democrats lost the man next in line for leadership after he announced that he would not seek re-election yesterday. State Rep. Ramon Alexander, D-Tallahassee, said that he does not intend to seek re-election after being accused of sexually harassing an employee at Florida A&M University last week.
As early as this Wednesday, House Democratic leaders said they had no intentions to replace Alexander. “These are serious allegations, but right now, I don’t know, there is no plan for that,” current House Minority Leader Evan Jenne (D-Dania Beach) told POLITICO.
Alexander released a statement yesterday morning declaring his intention not to seek re-election. The statement made no mention of the sexual harassment allegations against him.
“It has been a true honor to stand in the gap year after year, for so many critical issues that impact the future of our state and nation,” he wrote. “After thoughtful consideration and personal self-reflection, I will not seek re-election for my final term in the Florida House of Representatives.” He said on his Facebook account.
The Tallahassee Democrat broke the news of the allegations earlier this week. The employee, who has not yet been named, alleged that Alexander groped him and sent sexually explicit photos to him. He claims that he rebuffed Alexander’s advances, while Alexander claims they had a “consensual, adult relationship.”
The allegations were published after the employee filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and Florida A&M University.
Alexander was a frequent critic of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. He vocally opposed both the Parental Rights In Education bill and the Stop W.O.K.E act. As DeSantis has drawn criticism from the left, Alexander has made multiple appearances on CNN and MSNBC to attack the Governor.
Florida Democrats were already facing an uphill battle this November, as Republican candidates lead in every high-profile race in the state, and Republicans are poised to take three U.S House seats from Democrats.
Republicans currently hold 78 of Florida’s 120 seats in the state legislature, totaling 65 percent of all seats. In the Senate, they have 24 of the state’s 40 seats.
Democrats have not decided on a new leader, but Rep. Fentrice Driskell, D-Hillsborough, was next in line after Alexander. Florida Democrats have scheduled a vote within the next one to two weeks to decide on a replacement Caucus Chair, according to sources inside the legislature.
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