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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bense, Rubio react to Arza



House Speaker Allan Bense and his designated successor, Rep. Marco Rubio, have weighed in on Rep. Ralph Arza's resignation. Arza, a member of Rubio's inner circle, was headed for a key leadership post before his self-destruction over racist voice-mail messages.

Rubio said Arza "has served this state in an honorable and dignified manner," but that recent events "unfortunately cast a shadow on a very long and distinguished career." Rubio called Arza "a good man who deeply cares about the people of this state."

Bense's statement: "I am pleased that Rep. Ralph Arza has done what is in the best interest of his constituents and the Florida House of Representatives. I know this was not an easy decision for him, but I am glad he has put the needs of his district, the Florida Legislature and the state of Florida above his own.

"I hope that the way this issue was handled by everyone involved will serve to unite the members of the Florida House and allow them to move forward with a renewed sense of respect for the institution in which they serve as well as a deeper respect for each other and their responsibilities as elected officials."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:35am]


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