BROOKSVILLE — Voters can decide whether Jason Patrick Sager's admitted affair with his media liaison affects his ability to serve as a Hernando County commissioner.
That was the word out of a weekend meeting of the board of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee.
Sager met with the Republican leadership late Friday and then spent Saturday and Sunday with his family mulling over his options. He said Monday that he was willing to do whatever his wife, Stephanie, wanted, and at no point did she waver from her desire for him to stay in the race for the District 3 seat on the County Commission.
Sunday evening, he told party leaders that he wanted to continue in the race.
"Now that this information is out there, it is ultimately up to the voters to decide how much weight they give to this issue when they cast their vote," according to a statement issued by the party's executive committee.
Committee chairman Blaise Ingoglia said rumors that the board had asked Sager to withdraw from the race were not true and that the decision was strictly up to Sager.
Sager said that he and his family have received an outpouring of support since the news broke about the affair late last week.
"Even though I made a very poor decision, the message that we bring has not changed,'' Sager said. Because the supporters are still there, he said, "we can't give up on them.''
On his Facebook page, Sager wrote, "I am certainly flawed. I think that goes without saying. However I will continue to fight for my community. We have worked too hard and have achieved too much together to simply step aside.''
When first questioned about his relationship with his media liaison, Danielle Alexandre, Sager denied it. Then the Hernando Times showed him stacks of email exchanges between him and Ms. Alexandre and between Ms. Alexandre and her friends and offered to show him a video recorded by Ms. Alexandre's ex-husband, Edward "Eddie" Alexandre, of Sager and his Ms. Alexandre in the Alexandres' bedroom.
Sager admitted to the affair after meeting with an attorney. He and Ms. Alexandre said it lasted from March through June. Sager has said that he made a mistake and is working to reconcile with his wife and family.
Sager won his spot on the general election ballot by eight votes over incumbent John Druzbick in August. He is challenged by Democrat Diane Rowden and no-party candidate Greg Sheldon on the Nov. 6 ballot. Tanya Marsh is a write-in candidate in the race.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.