Gallagher admits to adultury and pot use by Mitch E. Perry06/19/06
Florida gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher acknowledged today that an extramarital affair played a role in his divorce 27 years ago and that he had used marijuana â€œa long, long time ago.â€?
According to the St. Pete Times, Gallagher made his confession today just days after the Tampa Tribune showed his campaign staff 24 pages of court documents from his 1979 divorce from his first wife, Ann Louise Gallagher. The documents include a partial transcript from a court hearing in which his estranged wifeâ€™s lawyer alleges Gallagher broke into the marital home by force, stealing the dog and nearly hitting his mother-in-law.
Gallagher called a conference call with some political reporters to discuss his divorce this afternoon. He said he took full responsibility for his first marriageâ€™s failure and said he made several mistakes in handling it. And he said a rededication to Christ in 1998 has made him a changed man.
Gallagher is trailing Attorney General Charlie Crist in most polls for the GOP nomination for Governor â€“ He has made his family background a key part of his campaign, discussing how he has changed his stance now on abortion and other issues.
Daryl Paulson is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida at St. Pete. He says that some Christain Conservatives may have an issue with trust with Gallagher (roll tape#1 o.q.â€?on the tableâ€?)
In fact, one of the leading conservatives in the state, John Stemberger from the Florida Family Policy Council, sent out a release, where he said, â€œWe are not electing a priest or a pastor. We are electing a governor. We all have sins in our life that we are not proud. I expect a governor to be highly qualified-- not perfect... Lets hope that Floridians remember at least one thing about Christiansâ€”our ability to forgive.â€?