TAMPA, Fl. - A Rrepublican candidate for the Florida House said Monday that president Barack Obama should be hanged for war crimes, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Joshua Black, the Republican candidate for Florida House District 68 posted his feelings to his Twitter account.
The Republican Party of Florida and Governor Rick Scott distanced itself from Black's statements in a response Tuesday:
"It's deplorable, it's despicable, and it has no place in public discourse," Susan Hepworth, the Republican Party of Florida's communications director, told The Huffington Post. "He should probably just go ahead and bow out of the race."
But Black defended his tweet. Obama should be held responsible for ordering a drone strike that killed a U.S. citizen overseas, he said.
Black told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that he was visited by Secret Service Agents about his remarks. He is maintaining that his comments are not an actual threat.
Black moved to Florida in 2007 after practicing street evangelism in St. Louis. His campaign website says he entered politics in 2012 when he tried influencing the Republican presidential primary. Black has officially filed to run for a state House seat that represents the St. Peterburg and Clearwater regions.
District 68 is currently represented by Democrat Dwight Dudley.
Dudley told the Tampa Bay Times he was "stunned" by Black's comments. "It's dangerous and unbecoming for someone who wants to lead to call for such violence and extremist action," Dudley said.
As of now, Black is not withdrawing from the race.