ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Campaign signs in St. Pete for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine defaced with swastika symbols prompted a swift response from Levine as well as other candidates and area lawmakers Monday.
- Levine: "I will never be held hostage to hatred"
- Mayors Kriseman, Buckhorn also responded
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Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach who is one of the front runners for the Democratic nomination according to polls heading into primary day, issued a statement in response to the spray-painted symbols on his campaign signs.
"As governor I will never be held hostage by hatred, or bigotry, or intolerance. Never," the statement reads. "All candidates should speak out against this intolerable behavior. We are better than the haters, bigger than the bigots, and tomorrow we will show them why."
Levine's competition in the Democratic gubernatorial race, specifically candidates Andrew Gillum and Jeff Greene, added their voices via Twitter to echo Levine's sentiments.
Later in the day St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman responded to the images on his Twitter account. Kriseman's tweet, in turn, prompted a message of solidarity from his counterpart across the bay, Bob Buckhorn.
Kriseman Chief of Staff Kevin King told the Tampa Bay Times that St. Petersburg Police would look into the vandalism.