Paul Congemi, a mayoral candidate in St. Petersburg, Fla., went on a racial tirade Tuesday when he told members of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and backers of rival candidate Jesse Nevel’s campaign to “go back to Africa.”
Nevel, 27, the national chair of the movement, announced his candidacy in March saying he would run on a platform of reparations to the African community.
“My commitment is to reparations to the community, to the black community that has suffered these damages under these current administrations,” Nevel said, according to WTSP-TV in Tampa. Nevel added that no amount of job creation or recreation centers could “health the wounds of the families of victims killed at the hands of law enforcement officers.”
Congemi responded minutes later:
“The reparations that you talk about, Mr. Nevel, your people already got … in the form of a man named Barack Obama. My advice to you, if you don’t like it here in America, planes leave every hour from Tampa airport. Go back to Africa.”
— Evan Axelbank Fox13 (@EvanAxelbank) July 19, 2017
Nevel and Congemi were among six other candidates participating in the forum. The current incumbent, Mayor Rick Kriseman was among the group as well as former Mayor Rick Baker.
Congemi has run for mayor three times but has garnered nearly non-existent support. He received 119 votes in 2009 out of 36,649 total and in 2013 received 225 votes out of 50,055 total. The 2017 primary election is scheduled for Aug. 29.