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Jeff Clemens admits to affair with lobbyist; Latvala says timing 'is related' to special election

After months of rumors, Clemens says he ‘will continue to seek forgiveness.’

Just days after the designation of the incoming Senate president by Florida Republicans, the incoming leader of the Senate Democrats admitted having an affair with a lobbyist during the last legislative session.

The affair, between Sen. Jeff Clemens, a Lake Worth political consultant, and former Martin County lobbyist Devon West, was first reported in Politico Florida.

Clemens, who is 47 and married, acknowledged the affair Thursday and apologized in a written statement provided to Politico and the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times.

“I used poor judgment and hurt people that I care about, and for that I apologized long ago,” he said. “But I also owe my constituents and colleagues an apology and I intend to do just that.

“No excuses are good enough or can undo the pain I’ve caused. I have spent a lot of time, long before I was contacted by a reporter, focusing on improving my behavior. I will always aim to be a better person, be as honest in my private life as I am with my public one, and continue to seek forgiveness from the people I have wronged.”

As minority leader, Clemens is charged with leading the election efforts of Senate Democrats in 2018 and won a significant victory in September, when Annette Taddeo defeated Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in the Miami district formerly held by Republican Frank Artiles. Read more here.