Attorney General Pam Bondi has joined Sen. Frank Artiles’ chorus of critics, suggesting her fellow Republican leave office for directing slurs, including a version of the N-word, at colleagues.
“There is simply no room for racial, hurtful language spoken to your colleagues or anyone else,” Bondi told POLITICO Florida.
“I have always liked Frank and hope he gives serious consideration to resigning so the focus can return to important legislative issues,” she told the website Thursday.
The head of the NAACP Florida State Conference has called for Artiles to step down. So has the Legislative Black Conference and Jewish Conference. Dozens of protesters gathered outside Artile’s Kendall district office to demand the same thing.
Artiles, a Cuban-American Republican from Miami-Dade County, made national news after he accosted Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, and Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat, calling her a “b—h” and a “girl” in a dispute over legislation at a private club in Tallahassee Monday night. Thurston and Gibson are black.
Artiles also used a variation of the “N-word,” referring to her and to white Republicans who supported Joe Negron as Senate President. Artiles apologized on the Senate floor Wednesday.
Thurston has lodged a Senate rules complaint against Artiles seeking his expulsion. An investigative report by General Counsel Dawn Roberts is due next Tuesday.