ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – He’s getting death threats and menacing emails, but St. Petersburg City Council candidate Chico Cromartie is holding firm on his anti-gay campaign platform.
This is happening in a city that is known nationally for being extremely gay-friendly.
This is Cromartie’s first run for office and he’s making quite a splash. Some might say, for all the wrong reasons.
In St. Petersburg, there is a celebration of “Pride Month” that has few equals.
“It says that we are a city that welcomes everybody. That you can be whoever you are and feel comfortable and safe here in St. Pete,” Mayor Rick Kriseman said during this year’s parade:.
District 7 candidate, Chico Cromartie has a different take. He’s running to represent the mid-town area and points west. “Tax dollars shouldn’t be accessed by groups, especially homosexuality based on the fact that they chose to be homosexual,” said Cromartie.
At a candidate’s forum Tuesday night, he and his 3 opponents fielded questions written by the audience.
In a separate interview, Cromartie said, he plans to represent Americans, and doesn’t care what they do in the bedroom. “I don’t agree with the practice of homosexuality, but my policies are all-inclusive. And they’re not based on a person’s choice to be homosexual or not” he said.
Lisa Wheeler-Bowman is the incumbent. “For him to say stuff like that, it hurts me,” she said. Wheeler-Bowman said Cromartie is out of line. “He shouldn’t say those things. I do not agree with his statements and I never will” she said.
The Uhuru candidate believes issues like increasing rents and sewage spills, should be topics of discussion. “He’s not the person I’m fighting against. In fact, as offensive as his remarks are, the reality the elephant in the room is oppression of the black community and the media is attempting to divert everybody’s attention away to the real fight” said Eritha “Aikile” Cainion.
A 4th candidate also believes, there are bigger issues. “We have the LGBTQ pride parade. We have the women’s march. But then at the same time, district 7 is one of the most impoverished and underdeveloped communities in all of St. Petersburg” said Sarah Elizabeth Moore.
When Chico Cromartie was asked, what tax dollars are going to gay groups, he could not be specific. But if elected, he will stop it right away.