Chairman of Florida Democrats Meets With Legislative Leaders After Racial Charged Remarks at Weekend Event

The chairman of Florida's Democratic Party apologized to members of the legislative black caucus Tuesday after reportedly calling them "childish" during a dispute related to a South Florida fundraiser.

Chairman Stephen Bittel held a meeting Tuesday in his Miami Beach office with the party’s leader in the Senate, Oscar Braynon, and future House party leader Kionne McGhee – both from Miami – after Saturday's incident.

Bittel had said members of the caucus were acting "childish" and later accused them of playing the race card when he was confronted over the incident, according to the PoliticoFlorida.

Bittel has spent the last few days apologizing to party leaders – both elected politicians and fundraisers – after Braynon and others voiced their displeasure that a portion of this weekend’s gala in Hollywood introducing members of both the House and Senate was axed so the keynote speaker, former Vice President Joe Biden, could speak sooner and get home to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

Braynon said Bittel apologized multiple times during Tuesday's meeting.

"What he said, I know it has been made very personal about me, but it spoke to a bigger issue which is what we talked about which is that we have to have respect for every part of the Democratic Party," Braynon said.

Bittel released a statement after Tuesday's meeting saying it was time to move forward.

"Our meeting was productive and we are moving forward together to secure victory in 2018. Together we are focused on electing Democrats who will stand up for working families and bring change and economic progress to Florida," his statement read.

Bittel is a Miami native who was elected to the post in January after a contentious race among party standard bearers – like Bittel, who was an active donor for Hillary Clinton – and some party outsiders, including those who supported Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Presidential campaign cycle.

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