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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Larry Ahern gives non-answer on support for Trump in light of lewd comments about women

District 66 Rep. Larry Ahern is running for his fourth term.

[Courtesy of Larry Ahern]

District 66 Rep. Larry Ahern is running for his fourth term.

10

October

As news spread over the weekend of Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women, Florida House of Representatives District 66 candidate Lorena Grizzle tweeted this at her opponent Sunday morning:

I strongly urge Rep. Ahern reconsider his endorsement for Trump based on the nominee’s vulgar comments undermining the dignity of women.

— Lorena Grizzle (@LorenaGrizzle) October 9, 2016

Grizzle, a special education teacher making her second run against Ahern, was referring to a video surfaced by the Washington Post in which Trump told then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that “when you’re a star, you can do anything” to women, including “grab them by the p---y.”

Ahern, the Republican incumbent, was one of the first state elected officials to voice his support for the Republican nominee for president. He told the Tampa Bay Times in February that “Trump is an outsider and, like when I first ran, isn't beholden to the machinery of modern day politics.”

But when asked repeatedly about Grizzle’s tweet, Ahern would not say whether he still endorsed Trump.

“Very busy with campaign and legislative and personal issues,” he said Monday afternoon in an email. “I'm focused on winning the seat for District 66 and serving the people in our state.”

At a Suncoast Tiger Bay Club forum two weeks ago, a participant asked the candidates who they planned to vote for in the Nov. 8 election. Ahern stuck by his support for Trump, seizing the opportunity to criticize Clinton for her “basket of deplorables” characterization of some Trump supporters.

“Once you’re elected, you represent all the people,” he said. “Unfortunately, with some of the name-calling that Mrs. Clinton tagged us with, or put us in that category with — I think it’s sad that she would not understand that she represents everybody.”

[Last modified: Monday, October 10, 2016 3:57pm]

    

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