Florida Democratic Party Chair Resigns over Allegations of Sexual Harassment

Stephen Bittel

Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel tendered his resignation Friday after a report alleged that he sexually harassed women and created a hostile work environment.

“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,” Bittel said in a statement tweeted by the Florida Democratic Party. “I apologize for all who have felt uncomfortable during my tenure at the Democratic Party.”

Four declared Democratic candidates for Florida governor—Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham, former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, and businessman Chris King—called for Bittel’s resignation after a Politico report released Friday quoted six women accusing him of sexual harassment.

The report said that Bittel exhibited “creepy” behavior towards women, such as making inappropriate comments about their breasts. None of the women quoted accused him of sexual assault or groping.

Florida Democratic Party leaders had called on Bittel to resign before. In June, party officials asked Bittel to submit his resignation after he got caught telling a state senator that black lawmakers are like “children.”

Despite the outcry from many Florida Democrats, Bittel remained in his post following the incident.


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