Sam Rashid: I'll resign from the Hillsborough Aviation Board if the governor asks

Published Sept. 6, 2015

TAMPA — In another lengthy Facebook post Saturday from businessman Sam Rashid, the influential Republican political activist admitted he should have been "less 'Donald Trump' like" in a social media rant last week when he called a female public relations consultant a "tax-payer subsidized slut."

Rashid apologized for using the word "slut" to describe Beth Leytham, the consultant he targeted in his original post for her role working on plans for a Hillsborough transportation referendum. Last week, Rashid, a board member of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, also called her an "unregistered Lobbyist" with "an intimately close relationship with three of our local elected officials."

The backlash came quickly.

Leytham denied Rashid's assertions, calling them sexist and demeaning. Editorials in the Tampa Bay Times and another local newspaper called for Rashid's resignation from the aviation authority.

In his post on Saturday, which he also sent to the Times for publication, he wrote that he thinks as the only minority member of the board, his voice is valuable, but indicated he will resign if Gov. Rick Scott asks him to. He added that if that happens, he'll advocate for another member of the minority community to replace him.

Rashid also changed tone about his use of the word "slut," which he initially defended. In his most recent post, he apologized to Leytham and "any other woman" he may have "inadvertently denigrated with the use of (a) female pejorative."

Then Rashid spent several sentences explaining that the words "slut," "sleaze," "slutty" and "sleazy" are interchangeable terms often used when describing questionable insider political gaming.

"Nevertheless, in hindsight, I should have been less 'Donald Trump' like and more politically correct in my phraseology...," he wrote.

Earlier this year, Rashid resigned from a commission that nominates federal judges after going on Facebook to say some local judges are "dumbasses."