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Sam Rashid still on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority until…

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Facebook page of Eastern Hillsborough County Republican activist Sam Rashid has gone silent this afternoon, after both Rick Scott and Bob Buckhorn agreed that it’s best if he step down from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority due to remarks he made on the social media site last week.

Referring to the public funding that has gone to the Go Hillsborough public relations outreach effort, Rashid wrote a Facebook post that public relations consultant Beth Laythem was a “tax-payer subsidized slut” who had “intimately close relationships” with three elected officials — two at the county center and one at city hall. The comment has outraged members of the community, and the editorial pages of both The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times called for Rashid to step down from his position on the Aviation Authority, a placement given to him by Gov. Rick Scott last year.

Rashid hasn’t done so yet. Over the weekend he wrote that he would be reaching out to Scott to discuss the issue and “ask for his preference with respect to my appointment.”

He may already have his answer, however, according to a quote by the Times’ Rick Danielson after the governor’s appearance in Tampa this morning

“I didn’t see those comments, but I expect everyone to live up to the highest standards,” Scott said. “I expect that if it’s true he resign, and I would accept his resignation.”

At a press conference in Tampa this morning, Mayor Buckhorn called Rashid’s outburst “a sad statement,” when asked if he thought Rashid should step down from the public agency.

“I thought that was unfortunate, particularly as the father of two daughters. I want my daughters to have the ability to succeed based on their professional abilities and not have it inferred in any way shape or form,” he said, adding, “I think Mr Rashid has offered to resign and I hope the governor takes him up on that.”

Rashid initially refused to apologize for his remark, disavowing that it was sexist in anyway. However, on Saturday he did so on his Facebook page, writing that the usage of the word “slut” was “a double-entendre using a word that is commonly used when speaking in political circles.”

Leytham was having none of it, however, and said the comment was anything but an apology.

If he does resign, it will be the second time this year he has been forced to leave a public agency for making a crude remark on his Facebook page. In May, Rashid named three unnamed Hillsborough County circuit judges as “dumbasses” in a posting. The comment ultimately cost him his position on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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