Candidate for St. Pete Mayor Tells Crowd Members ‘Go Back to Africa' at Debate

A candidate for Mayor in one Central Florida city is drawing national attention for controversial comments made during a recent debate in which he told supporters of one candidate to “go back to Africa.”

Paul Congemi made his comments during the debate Tuesday night when he addressed members of the Uhuru Movement, a group centered on issues in the city’s African-American community, and their candidate Jesse Nevel.

“You and your people, you talk about reparations. The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got your reparations. Your reparations came in the form of a man named Barack Obama,” Congemi told the audience before adding comments that made some members of the crowd furious.

“My advice to you, my advice to you, if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour. Go back to Africa, go back to Africa.”

Several of Congemi’s opponents condemned his comments after the debate. Congemi later made comments in which he attacked the current mayor for his support of the LGBT community.

The 60-year-old is making his third run for mayor, telling the Tampa Bay Times he wants to set a record for most times running for mayor of St. Petersburg before he dies. Recent polls have him with three percent of the vote ahead of the November 7th election date.

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