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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buckhorn, Narain bash Trump, praise ruling to extend voter registration



Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and state Rep. Ed Narain of Tampa issued a public "thank you" to U.S. District Judge Mark Walker on Wednesday  for extending the voter registration deadline in Florida until Oct. 18, reiterating their support for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton in a presidential election Narain called the "civil rights moment of our time."

Walker had "very, very valid and compelling reasons" to extend the registration deadline, Buckhorn said, both morally and legally. The Democratic Party had argued for an extension of the Oct. 11 deadline because of Hurricane Matthew.

"I think the judge saw through the arguments that were made by the governor," Buckhorn said. "I think he called him out."

"It's unfortunate that we had to go this route and the judge had to get involved in the decision making process when it could have been handled at the state level, but unfortunately it wasn't," Buckhorn said.

Millions of Floridians were impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Narain said, and Floridians were more concerned with "saving their lives than the presidency."

"While people are trying to make this out to be a political issue, it is far from political. It's a fundamental, constitutionally-protected right that all citizens have the right to vote."

Young people, people in communities of color who are working and may not have had time to register, single moms busy putting food on the table and "anyone who leads a busy life," will all benefit from the registration extension, Buckhorn said.

"Particularly after last week, if you weren't motivated to vote, I don't know what else will motivate you," Buckhorn said, referring to the release of a recording of lewd comments Republican nominee Trump made about women.

"This is going to be the election of our time, and our children are going to look back and they're going to ask us what did we do to ensure that the right person was elected to the presidency," Narain said.

Narain and Buckhorn urged Floridians to take advantage of the extension by going to to check their registration status, particularly if they've moved in the past few months.

Here are highlights of their other comments about Trump at the news conference.

Buckhorn: "Ed and I are both fathers of daughters, four young impressionable women. Kids who pay attention. I don't know about Rep. Narain, but for me to have that conversation with my two little girls about what Mr. Trump said last week and all the implications associated with that was a painful moment in my life. Both of us ran for office because we aspire to do great things. We believe in the dignity of public participation and public service. We think those that run for president ought to elevate the office not demean the office, not demean the process, not demean people who get up every day and work hard to be participants in the country and be good citizens. Last week was the most embarrassing, shameful episode that I have ever seen in 25 years of doing politics."

Narain: "As someone who spent a lot of time in locker rooms growing up, the excuse that is locker room banter, what was actually said, there has never been a locker room that I've been in where that type of language has been excused or acceptable. Quite frankly, I'm lucky that my daughters aren't to the age that the mayor's are, so they're not familiar with what's being said, but any candidate who would make those remarks in private and then talk about that being rich was his pass for being able to make those remarks, worries me. There's no more powerful position in the world than the presidency, so if he's willing to talk about women in that regard, and say its okay because he was rich and they'll let you do anything to them if you're rich, imagine if he was elected president.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 5:01pm]


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