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Florida Democrats accuse Ross Spano of ‘sexism’ for questioning Rena Frazier’s experience

unnamed-11The Florida Democratic Party is accusing Ross Spano of sexism after the Dover Republican sent out a mailer questioning the experience of Rena Frazier, his Democratic opponent in the House District 59 race.

The front of the mailer in question reads, “Important Message: Turn This Card over to learn more about Rena Frazier’s experience.” The flip side shows a mock resume, with the word “IINSUFFICIENT” stamped across the page, with nothing underneath it. A message at the bottom reads, “Our community is too precious to leave it up to chance. Stand up for our community. Just say to no Rena Frazier.”

Frazier is, like Spano, an attorney. She’s a partner at the law firm of Quarles & Brady L.L.P in Tampa.

A statement issued by the House and Senate Victory committee on Friday bashed Spano and the Republican Party of Florida for issuing the mailer, saying that they “should be ashamed of themselves for this baseless and sexist attack on Rena Frazier.”

The statement also criticizes Spano for supporting two restrictive abortion bills, as well as voting against a bill to repeal Florida’s archaic ban on cohabitation between unmarried men and women.

“Whether it’s trying to make their healthcare decisions for them or dictating who they can live with, Ross Spano continually tells the women of Florida that he knows what’s best for them,” said the Florida Democratic Party’s Anders Croy. “The question must be asked: if Rena Frazier doesn’t measure up to Ross Spano’s standards for elected office, what woman does?”

In response, Spano says the issue has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with experience.

“Rena Frazier is untested and unproven,” he said. “The voters of District 59 know exactly where I stand. In the four years I’ve served this community, I’ve been a tireless advocate for the victims of human trafficking. I’ve fought to protect our children from sexual predators. I’ve worked to increase economic opportunities for women through job creation and small business initiatives.”

Spano continued, “Other than the partisan and personal attacks we’ve received from Rena and her handlers at the Florida Democratic Party, which are frankly out of touch with the values and concerns of this district, we don’t know where she stands on the issues that people care about. My campaign has always been about these issues and my record in Tallahassee supports that and speaks for itself.”

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Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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