Calls are mounting for a Florida GOP senator Frank Artiles who is of Cuban descent,to resign after it was revealed that he hurled a flurry of racially-charged expletives at two African-American colleagues while they were having drinks at a private club on Monday night.
The Miami Sen.was having drinks with Democratic Sens. Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston at the Governors Club near the state Capitol in Tallahassee when he began lamenting the election of Republican Sen. Joe Negron as the Sunshine State’s new Senate President, the Miami Herald first reported.
Artiles apparently complained to Gibson and Thurston that “if it wasn’t for these six n—-rs” Negron wouldn’t have been elected to the GOP leadership role. It wasn’t immediately clear who Artiles was referring to, as the only African-Americans in the Florida State Senate are Democrats, and could thereby not have voted for Negron.
Artiles’ remark stunned Gibson and Thurston, who are both black. But that didn’t stop the Republican senator.
He reportedly went on to call Gibson “girl” and slurred her as “this f—-ng a—-le” and “this b–ch” after a discussion over political proceedings turned heated.
Gibson subsequently stormed out of the room, and Thurston confronted Artiles. “I said, ‘Dude, did you say ‘n—-rs?'” Thurston recalled to the Herald. “‘No, I said, ‘n—as,’ which is different in his mind.”
Thurston urged Artiles to apologize to Gibson the next day.
But Artiles didn’t apologize even though he coincided with Gibson on the Senate floor during a budget committee hearing. After Negron’s office had been informed of the shocking barroom tirade, Artiles’ office released a statement.
“In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me,” the statement said. “There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
The Florida Democratic Party called for Artiles’ immediate resignation Tuesday night. NYDAILY NEWS