TALLAHASSEE, FL – Two high-ranking South Florida state senators from opposite sides of the political spectrum acknowledged Tuesday that their longtime friendship "evolved to a level that we deeply regret." The joint statement was released just hours after an anonymous website posted video of Sens. Oscar Braynon and Anitere Flores purporting to show the two spending four nights together in Braynon’s apartment between April 20-25th. Republican Flores is the president pro tempore of the Florida Senate while Braynon serves as minority leader of the Democrats.
The video of the married legislators was posted on a website called floresbraynonaffair.com under a headline that read: "Flores (R) caught caucusing with Braynon (D)." It was not clear who owns the website.
"As this 2018 session of the Florida Legislature gets underway, we do not want gossip and rumors to distract from the important business of the people," according to the statement, which was released by a public relations firm on behalf of the two legislators before the start of the 2018 legislative session. "That’s why we are issuing this brief statement to acknowledge that our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret."
The statement went on to say that both elected officials have sought the "forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God." Flores represents part of Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. Braynon represents part of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.
Flores chairs the banking and insurance committee in which Braynon is a member while Braynon is vice chair of the rules committee and Flores is a member. In addition, Flores is vice chair of the appropriations committee and Braynon is a member.
"We ask everyone else to respect and provide our families the privacy that they deserve as we move past this to focus on the important work ahead," the statement added.
According to the anonymous website, the video was recorded at The Tennyson condominium building in Tallahassee, where both legislators had apartments across the hall from one another.
Photos of Sens. Anitere Flores and Oscar Braynon courtesy Florida State Senate