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David Singer calls Jackie Toledo’s call to repeal immigration bills an “appeal to our lowest common denominator”

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

While Rebecca Smith, Jackie Toledo’s opponent in the House District 60 primary, won’t comment on Toledo’s vow that she will “crack down on illegal aliens,” David Singer is speaking out.

Singer is a Tampa land use attorney and the Democrat who will face the winner of the Toledo/Smith primary later this month. He issued a statement after reading about Toledo’s vow to repeal two bills passed in the Florida Legislature in the 2014 session that addresses undocumented immigrants.

The first bill in question was legislation that allows qualified undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities. The other would allow some illegal immigrants to obtain law licenses from the Florida Bar.

“In our state government, compromise is often times a dirty word and an even rarer act,” Singer writes in a statement sent to SPB Thursday afternoon. “Putting aside Ms. Toledo’s clear misunderstanding of how the legislature works, her mailing sends a message to the District of exactly what kind legislator she would be. Governor Scott and the legislature came together to pass meaningful legislation to address immigration in our state. We need more of this, not less. We need to send more children in our state to school, not fewer.  We need people in Tallahassee who want to work to solve issues  – like immigration – not just recycle the same old political rhetoric to win elections. If we’re going to move forward as a community and effectively deal with issues like education and infrastructure, and yes, immigration, we need leaders who take time to understand the nuances of big issues and know how to work with people from both parties to get results. From the pugnacious tone of her communications thus far, it appears that Ms. Toledo disagrees.  I believe that voters here and across the state of Florida will reject a fear based appeal to our lowest common denominator, and instead support thoughtful, inclusive, progress-minded candidates.”

A spokesperson for Toledo, Ryan Wiggans, said that on Wednesday that “Voters are upset that politicians continue to give taxpayer benefits like subsidized, in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants, and then passes legislation that allows undocumented immigrants to practice law. It’s not fair to hardworking Floridians who play by the rules and follow our laws each and every day.”

House District 60 includes all of South Tampa, much of south Hillsborough County, and Town N Country in northern Hillsborough. Singer will face the victor in the Smith-Toledo GOP primary on Aug. 30.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the 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. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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