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Leon County commissioner requests apology from Tallahassee mayor over 'voter suppression' comment

Mayor Dailey made comment in interview Wednesday
Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 08:37:51-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor is calling on Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey to apologize after making this statement following calls for him to return campaign donations.

In an interview Wednesday, Dailey said, "Let's be very clear. By rough estimate, of about 100,000 people who either graduated, work for or support Florida State here locally - to suggest that they should not participate in the democratic process is voter suppression. I seriously will never ever support that."

The Leon County Democratic Executive Committee wants Dailey to return campaign money from people with Florida State ties.

The reason? Dailey is on the Blueprint board that will vote next week on giving the University tens of millions of dollars for stadium upgrades.

In January, at least 10 people with ties to FSU donated to Dailey's re-election campaign.

About a month earlier, Dailey voted in support of giving $20 million from sales tax money to renovations at FSU's Doak Campbell stadium.

On Thursday, Proctor sent the mayor a letter in response to his use of the term "voter suppression" saying Dailey needs to apologize for abusing and misusing the term.

In the letter, Proctor says, "Voter suppression is a real serious experience for black people in Tallahassee, the state of Florida and across multiple-jurisdictions.

"The timing of your comments is incongruent with voter suppression now occurring to black citizens."

It's important to note that commissioner Proctor also voted in favor of approving the 20 million dollars for the stadium project.

He's also up for re-election.

A search of his campaign contributions only showed three donors, who don't appear to have ties to FSU.

ABC 27 reached out to the mayor's team for clarity on his voter suppression statement and did not receive one.

Voter suppression has been a tool historically used to keep Black Americans and other minorities from voting.

Forms of voter suppression include strict voter ID laws.

Cutting early voting access and Cutting down on the number of polling places in minority communities.