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In tirade, Artiles also called Negron, his own party's Senate president, a 'pussy'

@PatriciaMazzei @stevebousquet

During his tirade to a pair of Democratic senators Monday night, Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles referred to Senate President Joe Negron as a "pussy," according to one of the senators present.

Artiles was railing against Negron's leadership, which he considers weak.

"He called Joe Negron a pussy," said Democratic Sen. Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale.

Artiles then blamed Negron's rise to power on "six niggas" -- fellow Republicans who had backed his bid for the Senate's top job.

The racial slur, following curse words uttered by Artiles to Democratic Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville -- who, like Thurston, is African American -- prompted calls from Democrats for Artiles to resign. And Negron, who initially tried to stay out of the fracas, issued a strongly-worded statement Tuesday night saying Artiles will publicly apologize to Gibson on the Senate floor Wednesday.

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