Saturday, December 16, 2017
Politics

Community activist Theresa 'Momma Tee' Lassiter apologizes for outburst

ST. PETERSBURG — Fifteen hours after causing an outburst at a mayoral forum, community activist Theresa "Momma Tee" Lassiter apologized.

"I'm angry at myself because I got so angry," Lassiter said Friday morning. "I lost it. I confess my love for the mayor got in the way."

Lassiter became angry after Ray Tampa, a Kathleen Ford supporter, and Goliath Davis, a former police chief and former deputy mayor, questioned Mayor Bill Foster on what he has done for the African-American community.

The moderator asked Lassiter to stop talking after she exceeded time limits. She walked away sniping at the crowd.

"I apologize for the outburst, and it's not my responsibility," Foster said minutes later. "That was wrong."

Lassiter pointed out Friday that Tampa and Davis also exceeded the time limits. She wanted residents to ask Foster, Ford and Rick Kriseman how they would lead the city.

"To me, it was nothing but bashing Bill Foster," Lassiter said. "That was ugly. I don't like to see anybody abused."

She stressed she didn't sleep much Thursday night and is working on a letter to send each candidate.

Davis, who was fired by Foster in 2011, questioned Foster on Thursday about a list he is circulating detailing 25 accomplishments in Midtown and neighborhoods south of Central Avenue. Many of the projects, Davis said, started under former Mayor Rick Baker.

While Davis hasn't endorsed a candidate, he heaped praise on Ford in May. He stood by the praise Friday.

"I still hold that Kathleen Ford is a viable candidate," Davis said. "I will make my endorsement at the appropriate time."

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow @markpuente on Twitter.

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