Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel resigns after sexual comments

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel resigns after sexual comments

Among the other "creepy" (as one accuser described Bittel) charges: He had breast-shaped stress balls at his workplace desk.

"There was a lot of boob stuff in his office", said a woman who was a fundraiser years ago and had to interact with him.

"When my personal situation becomes distracting to our core mission of electing Democrats and making Florida better, it is time for me to step aside", said Stephen Bittel, a Miami Beach businessman with close ties to Florida Rep.

"I apologize for all who have felt uncomfortable during my tenure", Bittel added, without directly commenting on the accusations.

Bittel is a wealthy real estate developer who was a big money donor to the party.

Stephen Bittel released a brief statement on the party's Twitter account Friday shortly after four of his party's candidates for governor called for him to step down. "We must work to create an environment where women know they are not alone and feel comfortable to come forward". After losing the state to the Republican Party and Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Florida's Democrats are now looking towards the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election. His resignation comes as the party tries to regain control of the governor's office for the first time since 1999.

"This is not just an issue for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party; it's a societal issue", said U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. Jeff Clemens resigned after a report that he had an extra-marital affair with a lobbyist. Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is also facing allegations of sexual misconduct, and Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken has been accused of forcibly kissing a woman and groping her while she slept.

A key Florida ally and big-time donor for Barack Obama and Joe Biden finds himself under pressure to exit as state Democratic chair - again.

The embattled chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, Stephen Bittel, is prepared to quit if members of the legislative black caucus want him gone for dismissing them as "childish" amid a dispute at a million-dollar weekend fundraising gala, top Democrats tell POLITICO Florida.

"The most suggestive thing he does is invite women on his plane or over to his home when his wife is not in town", a woman told Politico in anonymity.

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