Just a day after Leader-Elect Rep. Ramon Alexander announced that he will not seek re-election following a series of sexual harassment allegations, Gallop Franklin filed his candidacy in a bid to succeed Alexander in Florida’s House District 8.
Franklin filed his official paperwork to be listed as a candidate on Friday morning, according to the Florida Division of Elections. Franklin’s prospective campaign additionally has no reported financial activity as of yet,
While Alexander is still listed in the state database as an active candidate, his move away from the race leaves Franklin as the lone aspirant for the House seat.
Franklin has not issued an official statement regarding his presence in the race and does not appear to be overly active on social media, with just a singular tweet outside of a handful of replies appearing on his Twitter account since July of 2019 — a retweet of Ramon Alexander’s campaign reel.
Franklin’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he currently works as both a visiting professor at Florida A&M University and a Clinical Pharmacist at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Given the scarcity of online information on Franklin, who is registered as a Democrat, it is currently unknown what points his campaign will be run on.
Alexander, who currently represents Florida’s House District 8, was slated to serve as the future House minority leader. Earlier this week, a breaking news story reported the incumbent’s allegations of sexual harassment filed against him by Michael Johnson Jr.
Johnson Jr. on Tuesday claimed that he was improperly released from his duties as Associate Athletic Director at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in January, alleging that he was fired after reporting the wrongdoing of a relative of Alexander, who also works in the school’s athletics department, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Johnson issued a complaint with the Florida Commission of Human Rights in February, the Tallahassee Democrat reported, also alleging that Alexander swayed his power as a politician and figure at the school in order to protect employees that have been accused of wrongdoing or poor performance.
Alexander reportedly harassed and intimidated Johnson through means of phone contact and work visitations. Johnson additionally accused Alexander of sending him unwanted sexual materials, per the complaint.
Alexander put forth a statement this week admitting he had a relationship with Johnson but was never his employer or involved in personnel decisions at FAMU.
“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,” said Ramon on Twitter. “Meaningful public service has always been about making a significant difference in the lives of others without self-promotion, spectacle or fanfare.”
In a statement, Current Minority Leader Evan Jenne stated the Democratic caucus would soon meet to elect a new leader designated. The selected individual would then be set to take over the position in November when Jenne steps down.
“In the near future, our caucus will meet to elect a new Leader Designate to take over when I leave office in November,” Jenne said. “In the meantime, we will continue to focus on tackling the problems of the state and improving the lives of all Floridians.”
For Immediate Release: pic.twitter.com/bDDSz8b5VG
— Rep. Ramon Alexander (@RamonAlexander) May 12, 2022