Rouson misses candidate's forum; firefighters pick McKenzie
State Rep. Darryl Rouson skipped out on a candidate's forum in Sarasota Monday evening, even though he told organizers he would be there.
Leon Harris, president of the Sarasota-Manatee Democratic Black Caucus, said Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, never called to cancel the appearance.
"He said he would be there," said Harris.
But Rouson, who is running for reelection against the Rev. Charles McKenzie, said it was simply a scheduling error. He said he received an email that stated the debate was being held on Aug. 28. Rouson forwarded the email to Bay Buzz.
"I would never deliberately, purposely, blow off an organization that invited me to speak in Sarasota, the backyard of Charles McKenzie," he said.
Rouson said he called the black caucus this morning to set the record straight and to apologize.
Meanwhile, the Florida Professional Firefighters and the Pinellas County Council of Firefighters endorsed McKenzie this week.
"The Florida Professional Firefighters and the Pinellas County Council of Firefighters share my commitment to public service and the labor movement," said McKenzie in a statement.
The District 55 Democratic Primary is Aug. 26.
-Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer