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Florida Democratic Party calls on Artiles to resign following tirade


The Florida Democratic Party called on Miami Republican Sen. Frank Artiles to resign late Tuesday over his use of curse words and a racial slur in reference to fellow lawmakers.

Johanna Cervone, a party spokeswoman, said Artiles "must resign now."

"His use of horrific racist and sexist slurs towards his colleagues is disgusting, unacceptable and has no place in our democracy or our society," Cervone said in a statement. "This is just the latest in a string of violent, hateful incidents in which Artiles blames his 'temper'. There is never an excuse for racism or misogyny and the people of Florida aren't buying it. Resign now."

The Miami Herald reported earlier in the day that Artiles had an African-American Democratic senator in a private conversation late Monday. He then referred to other Republican senators -- who are not black -- as "niggas."

Florida Strong, a liberal independent advocacy group, also asked for Artiles to step down.

"It is time for Senator Artiles to bring his embarrassing tenure to an end," Charly Norton, the group's executive director, said in a statement. "Artiles has proven time and again that he lacks the judgment, decency and maturity needed to properly serve his constituents and the people of Florida, and as such, must resign immediately. Our elected officials ought to serve as role models for how we treat one another, not as bullies and buffoons. His hateful actions clearly prove he is not fit to lead."