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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Colson says he'll sue Pasco Dems

13

June

Pasco Democrats might soon be at war, not with Republicans but with a disgruntled former member of their own local executive committee.

Clay Colson, a Democratic precinct committeeman from Land O' Lakes, was kicked out of the group in May after he breached membership rules by missing three consecutive monthly meetings without an excuse.

Only Colson sees it differently and argues that he sent an email ahead of one of those meetings to explain he had a work obligation that night and would not attend.

On Monday, he showed up to argue his case as the commitee gathered at a union hall in Land O' Lakes for its monthly meeting.

"They threatened to have me removed by police," said Colson, who was eventually allowed to speak. He accused committee leaders of abusing their authority and threatened to sue them.

"It's a matter of principle. Principles still matter to some people," Colson told Bay Buzz on Friday.

Lynn Lindeman, chairman of the Pasco Democrats, has sent emails to Colson in recent weeks saying the issue is closed but he's welcome to apply to rejoin the 55-member group at any time.

"These conversations are over," Lindeman wrote in one message May 14.

But Colson says the issue runs deeper than a few absences.

He's says he's being targeted by state-level Democrats for criticizing their support of Alex Sink in the recent special election against Republican David Jolly to succeed the late C.W. Bill Young in Congress.

Colson said they should have backed Democrat Jessica Ehrlich, an attorney who challenged Young two years ago.

He also blasted their support of Rick Kriseman while fellow Democrat Kathleen Ford was still challenging him in St. Petersburg's mayoral race.

"You can't give to one Democrat and not another," he said.

Colson said he's talked with an attorney and has financial backing to sue the committee's leaders. He said he plans to do so within a couple weeks.

[Last modified: Friday, June 13, 2014 1:25pm]

    

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