Jim Davis Apologizes by Mitch E. Perry

09/13/06

As we reported last night, Jim Davis has apologized directly to Freddie Pitts and Wilbur Lee. The 2 African American men were falsely imprisoned by the state of Florida for 9 years, before ultimately given compensation by the state in 1998.

But in 1990 while in the state legislature, Davis voted against paying compensation for Pitts and Lee’s wrongful years in prison. But speaking yesterday at the Carrie Meek Senior and Cultural Center in Miami, Davis admitted for the first time that he was wrong in doing so (roll tape#1 o.q.�lord brought us together for a reason.�)

Davis apology was considered important for his campaign to move beyond the issue, which had dogged the candidate in the waning weeks of his campaign against Rod Smith. And it’s important so that Davis can get Black voters- especially in South Florida, to embrace his candidacy.

In black-majority Miami-Dade precincts, Davis received just 26 percent of the vote, compared with rival Rod Smith's nearly 64 percent. In majority-black Broward County precincts, Davis garnered 31 percent to Smith's 60 percent. In Palm Beach County's: Davis 25 percent; Smith 63 percent. This was Wilbur Lee yesterday (roll tape#1 o.q.�applause�)

Freddie Pitts said that he had actually had several conservations with Davis prior to yesterday’s news conference (roll tape#2 o.q.�applause�)

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