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.