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Janet Cruz urges governor to ask Mike Hill to resign

“His actions are unbecoming of a member of the Florida Legislature,” the Tampa Democratic senator wrote in a letter. “No elected official should stand by while threats of violence are issued upon a group of our state’s citizens."
Senator Janet Cruz, D- Tampa, reacts after she reads a greeting card attached to flowers at her desk in the Florida Senate, Tuesday, March 5, 2019 prior to a joint session of the Florida Legislature. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Jun. 7

Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, wants Gov. Ron DeSantis to ask for the resignation of Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola.

Cruz sent a letter Thursday to DeSantis amid a controversy that stems from Hill’s actions last month during a meeting in Pensacola. Hill laughed with supporters when asked if he would introduce legislation that would put to death a man who had an affair with another man.

RELATED COVERAGE: Amid calls to apologize, Rep. Mike Hill says he should have corrected attendee on homophobic comment

Florida leaders push Mike Hill to apologize for homophobic comment

In the letter, Cruz dismissed an apology by Hill. “His actions are unbecoming of a member of the Florida Legislature,” Cruz wrote. “No elected official should stand by while threats of violence are issued upon a group of our state’s citizens. I implore you to defend all Floridians by boldly denouncing bigotry and asking for Representative Hill’s resignation from the Florida House of Representatives.”

On Wednesday, Hill issued a statement that said, in part, “I apologize for not directly responding to the fact that the premise for this question was inaccurate. I deeply regret how the tone of my response to a constituent was received at this event.”

Several Republicans have also criticized Hill, including House Speaker Jose Oliva and Rep. Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican next in line to become speaker. They condemned Hill for “callous indifference to an outrageous question.”

On Tuesday, DeSantis left any decisions regarding Hill to Oliva, R-Miami Lakes. “I support Speaker Oliva’s comments and I trust the speaker to take whatever action is necessary,” DeSantis told reporters.

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