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Miami state Senate candidate wants Florida to do away with Confederate holidays in law

@PatriciaMazzei

Andrew Korge, the son of Democratic fundraiser Chris Korge and a candidate in 2020 for the Florida Senate, said Tuesday he has asked Republican leaders to do away with three "Confederate holidays."

In a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, Korge cited that South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from its state grounds last week, following the deadly shooting of nine people in a historic black church in Charleston.

Florida law "designates the birthdays of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, and Confederate Memorial Day, as official state holidays," Korge wrote. "The Confederacy and its leaders, who fought to guarantee the right to enslave human beings, are not worthy of such a celebration."

While called "legal holidays," the three dates are not observed as paid holidays for state workers, so they're not on par with, say, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday or Veterans' Day.

In a campaign statement, Korge said wiping those commemorative dates from state statutes would be a "small step" for Florida to take. "We must move on from racial divisions of the past so we can focus on building a 21st century Florida that we will be proud to leave to our children," he said.

Korge is in the unusual position of campaigning five years in advance of an election just in case state Sen. Gwen Margolis, a Miami Democrat, decides not to run again in 2016.

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