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Florida House Democrats' incoming leader bows out after sexual harassment allegations

A new leader designate will be chosen in place of Rep. Ramon Alexander, who is leaving after an investigative report in the Tallahassee Democrat.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State Rep. Ramon Alexander, who was slated to be the incoming leader of the House Democrats, will not seek reelection amid accusations of sexual harassment.

The married father made the announcement late Thursday morning on his Facebook page, saying he would not seek re-election for his final term in the Florida House of Representatives. Alexander had represented District 8, which touches Gadsden and Leon counties in the Tallahassee region.

Minority Leader Evan Jenne, in a statement, said the Democratic caucus would soon meet to elect a new leader designate. That person will take over when Jenne leaves office in November.

"Words will never fully describe how truly grateful I have been over these many years, to represent and fight for my community in the Florida Legislature," Alexander wrote in his departure post on social media. "Meaningful public service has always been about making a significant difference in the lives of others without self promotion, spectacle or fanfare."

The announcement comes just two days after the Tallahassee Democrat reported on allegations Alexander sexually harassed a now-former associate athletics director at Florida A&M University. The newspaper said Alexander was accused of groping and sending explicit video and photos to Michael Johnson Jr., who was ousted early this year and went on to file a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations – claiming he was harassed and retaliated against by top FAMU staffers.

"Included in the complaints were allegations that Alexander harassed and intimidated him over personnel issues involving a family member of the representative," the Tallahassee Democrat wrote.

Alexander has not yet responded directly to a separate emailed request for comment made Thursday morning by 10 Tampa Bay. But, in a statement to the newspaper, Alexander said he was sorry for his actions.

“I am willing to acknowledge that I had a consensual, adult relationship with Mr. Johnson, but at no point was I ever his employer, an employee of FAMU or involved in FAMU personnel decisions,” Alexander told the Tallahassee Democrat, adding that his family had been working through the situation "for many months."

"[Alexander] and his family are in my thoughts as they navigate into this next phase of their lives," Leader Jenne wrote.

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