Florida City Council candidate: ‘To hell with gay pride’

A Floridian City Council candidate is openly campaigning from an anti-LGBT+ standpoint, saying: “It makes me more popular as a leader.”

Chico Cromartie is running for District 7 in the city of St Petersburg, Florida, where he believes the LGBT+ community is thriving at the expense of the black community.

Cromartie, 47, regularly broadcasts his views on his Facebook page.

His posts include frequent references to his support for Donald Trump, and his disdain for homosexuality, which he believes is “a choice.”

In a now-deleted post seen by the Tampa Bay Times, he wrote on on June 23, the day after Pride in St Petersburg: “I hear you south St. Pete! Finally we have a leader who’s not afraid to say, ‘Too [sic] hell with gay pride & their flag.”

On July 11 he declared he would not “implement or support any policy that implies or economically favours homosexuality, a group or any ideology based solely on a person’s choice to be homosexual and/or anti-American!”

His rhetoric has offended many in the gay-friendly city of St Petersburg, whose neighbouring city of Tampa recently elected its first lesbian mayor.

Their disapproval of Cromartie is reflected on his Facebook page, where the vast majority of comments are negative.

People understand I’m going to lead based on American principals, not because they choose to be a homosexual.

Comments include: “Just leave our city, please,” “You don’t deserve to speak for our community, you never did,” “No time to listen to hate,” and “You’re an embarrassment to this city, you chose the wrong place to run on discriminatory platforms.”

Cromartie hit back at these “insidious comments,” which he appears to believe were all left by homosexuals. In a Facebook post which references “the homosexual agenda,” he says they prove “how vicious, hateful and intolerant [homosexuals] really are to any opposition to their lifestyle.”

In spite of the pushback he’s received, Cromartie claims his anti-LGBT+ beliefs will actually give him an advantage in the upcoming election.

“It makes me more popular as a leader,” he told the Tampa Bay Times.

“Because people understand I’m going to lead based on American principals [sic], not because they choose to be a homosexual.

“The idea that the homosexuals should be considered to receive taxpayer dollars, based on the fact that they choose to be a homosexual, to me is not fair to the other citizens who choose not to be homosexual,” he said.

“And if I’m elected, I’m going to dismantle all those policies.”

But the Tampa Bay Times noted that, when questioned, Cromartie “could not identify any policy that doles out tax dollars based on sexuality.”

The primary election is on August 27, with a general election on November 5.