- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 29, 2018

Manny Orozco-Ballestas no longer works for the campaign of Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, after a local blogger circulated several of the former staffer’s purported past Twitter posts, including one imploring President Trump’s execution.

“The type of language this young man used on social media before his employment with our campaign is unacceptable and he will no longer be working with the campaign,” Gillum campaign spokesperson Joshua Karp in a statement, The Tampa Bay Times first reported Saturday.

Confirmation of Mr. Orozco-Ballestas‘ departure came shortly after Jacob Engels, the publisher of the fringe Central Florida Post blog, shared screenshots on Twitter of several crude tweets attributed to the former Gillum campaign youth director dating back to 2012.

Among the screenshots circulated by Mr. Engles were images of tweets in which Twitter user @OrozcoBallestas made sexist remarks containing an expletive for a male appendage.

“If you weren’t so ugly I would put my [expletive] in your face,” the user tweeted in April 2012, according to Mr. Engels. “If you can take a [expletive] you can take a job,” they allegedly tweeted that December.

Tweeting to the future president in 2013, according to Mr. Engels, the same user tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump: you need to be executed.”

The @OrozcoBallestas Twitter account and its associated tweets went offline Saturday within hours of Mr. Engels sharing the screenshots, The Times reported.

Mr. Orozco-Ballestas previously came under fire earlier in the week after Mr. Engels unearthed a photograph of the former Gillum campaign staffer wearing a shirt that referred to people who reside in states that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 as residents of “Dumbf***istan.”

“It is unbelievable to me that Andrew Gillum would not only employ, but promote on social media, a person who calls voters ‘dumb f***s’ for electing Republicans,” Blaise Ingoglia, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said after the photo of the shift emerged Thursday. “It is hypocritical for Gillum to endorse the same kind of hateful, intolerant speech that he likes to denounce.”

Mr. Orozco-Ballestas joined the Gillum campaign roughly two weeks earlier, and he previously worked for Democratic candidates including Hillary Clinton and former Florida gubernatorial hopeful Phillip Levine, the former mayor of Miami Beach.

“I am embarrassed, angry and disappointed in myself,” he said in a statement Saturday. “I took social media for granted when I was younger and I am now facing the consequences,.”

“What I tweeted as an immature student many years ago is not a reflection of the man I am today. I will continue finding ways to fight for what is right for as long as I can, however I can — America is worth it and there is way too much at stake. “

Mr. Gillum, 39, is competing in the Nov. 6 midterm race against U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, and has served as the mayor of Tallahassee since 2014.


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