State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz said he deleted a Twitter photo of himself with President Donald Trump after an "aggressive trolling campaign" gave him grief about it online.
Following his entry into the race to replace former state Sen. Frank Artiles, Diaz said people he presumed to be from his opponents' campaigns "seized upon an old tweet and began an aggressive trolling campaign aimed at provocation and distraction."
"I deleted the vehicle they were trolling, which was a picture from the Presidential Inauguration and now they are, again, trying to create a story where there is none," Diaz said in a statement to the Miami Herald.
The deletion only got Diaz more trolling from local liberal activists, as reported by Politico Florida and the Miami New Times. Diaz faces former state Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla and attorney Lorenzo Palomares-Starbuck in the special July 25 primary election. If Diaz wins, expect Democrats to try to tie him to Trump in Democratic-leaning Senate District 40. Diaz was interviewed as the Trump administration's potential pick to serve as Miami U.S. attorney.
The Jan. 19 tweet read: "Just ran into the first guy who ever fired me. The next president of the United States @realDonald Trump #Apprentice #POTUS #ElPresidente."
Diaz, a one-time contestant on "The Apprentice" reality show, attended the inauguration along with state Rep. Carlos Trujillo. Both are Miami Republicans.
"My being on NBC's The Apprentice is public knowledge and something that I do not shy away from," Diaz said Tuesday. "I am running for the Senate based on my record of service and the good laws that I have passed by way of protecting kids, protecting seniors and investing in Miami-Dade County's most important institutions."