Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink has admitted she broke the rules of Monday’s debate with Rick Scott by reading a text message during a commercial break.
Sink, a Democrat, said Tuesday she has fired the campaign aide who showed her the message during a break in the Tampa debate that was shown on CNN.
The message, which was delivered by Sink’s make-up artist Brian May, read: “The attorney who [w]on the Sykes suit said alex sink did nothing wrong. Tell not to let him keep talking about her,” CNN said. The text referred to Scott’s attacks on Sink for improprieties that occurred while she was a member of the auditing board of Tampa-based Sykes Enterprises.
May had signed the debate agreement that essentially outlawed the message-passing.
Scott, a Republican, alerted a CNN staffer to what he believed Sink was doing during the break. He didn’t mentioned the incident after they were back on-air but his campaigned issued a media statement later calling Sink a cheat.
“It was especially ironic because she cheated right after an exchange about ethical conduct,” said Scott Campaign Manager Susie Wiles.
The Tampa Tribune said that when Sink was asked by a reporter Tuesday about the incident, she said, “when I learned what had happened and got to the bottom of it, I took accountability, and I held the person who was responsible for the cheating accountable, and he’s no longer with my campaign. And that was the right action to take.”
Polls show that the race is too close to call.