State House candidate Toledo mum on Trump support, but spokeswoman slams him
This weekend, Tampa Republican state House candidate Jackie Toledo, like many Republicans, issued a statement condemning sexist remarks by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump but stopping short of saying she opposes Trump.
“The vulgar remarks of Donald Trump are unacceptable and have no place in our country. … our presidential candidates continue to disappoint,” Toledo said, calling for bipartisanship and prayer.
Her campaign spokeswoman Ryan Wiggins has shown no such reticence, however, posting harshly anti-Trump tweets for weeks.
During Sunday night’s debate, Wiggins tweeted, “Tonight, she (Hillary Clinton) is every woman and I hope she destroys that pig.” She has also re-tweeted a comment calling Trump “a misogynist, racist, vulgar, lying, ignorant, mad man,” and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for refusing to allow her preferred presidential candidate, former U.S. intelligence officer officer Evan McMullin of Utah, on the ballot.
That led Toledo’s Democratic opponent, David Singer, to say earlier this week that Toledo should follow Wiggins’ lead and denounce Trump.
“The only course of action acceptable for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans is to oppose his candidacy,” Singer said. “It is time for Jackie to publicly rescind her support for Donald Trump.”
Wiggins said she’s a private citizen entitled to her own views, which don’t necessarily reflect those of a candidate she works for. But she also insisted here’s no difference between her statement and Toledo’s. “She’s saying exactly what I’m saying.”
She said Toledo has never endorsed Trump, and accused Singer of “bullying” Toledo over the issue. “For bullying a woman, he’s not any better than Trump,” she said.
Toledo, meanwhile, continued to decline to take a position for or against Trump, saying – through Wiggins – that she “hasn't endorsed in this race and has absolutely no intention to do so.”