Responses are still coming in on our November Florida Insider Poll, but more than 9 in 10 of the veteran politicos we surveyed think state Sen. Jack Latvala will quit the governor's race in the wake of six anonymous women accusing him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
Latvala staunchly denies the unsourced accusations published in Politico, but nearly two--thirds of the more than 190 Florida Insiders expect the Clearwater Republican will resign from office.
"Jack Latvala will leave the governor’s race because he has no path to victory, none," a Republican predicted. "But he will stay in the Senate and raise hell as he typically does and then off into the sunset."
"Jack deserves to face his accusers, but the damage has been done anonymously and sufficiently to his gubernatorial prospects," said another.
From a Democrat: "Jack is from the same generation as me…his one accuser – Molly Wilson – said that Jack was demeaning to her…Hello, he's demeaning to everyone!…that's just his nature…as for mentioning kids and you can't use them as a crutch, he'd say that to a male staffer as well…he's a tough taskmaster which is why he has a good bit of turnover annually…but he is fair…regarding some who call him a predator – not true – fake news!…he likes women, as most of us do (from my generation, not sure about the current generation!), and we all talk about women, just like women talk about men…has he made some comments that might offend some women, that's certainly possible…is it sexual harassment, maybe, maybe not…Jack is intimidating person…but I've never known (I've known him since BEFORE he was elected to office) him to purposely embarass a women…he will take out his anger on anyone, but in that situation, he's an equal opportunity person – we all get it from time to time…Pam Bondi is right, the accusers will have to come forward…I believe Jack, if held to the "clear and convincing legal standard" will be okay…I think his lawyers advice of an ex-law enforcement officer as the investigator and an ex-judge as the final arbiter is correct and appropriate…no woman should ever be harassed!"
Check back. We will update this post later…