MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Rafael Velasquez, a candidate for Miami Beach City Commission, says the sexual harassment accusations against him from two women are not fair.
“It’s not fair, it’s just not fair,” he said.
Velasquez says he’s leading in the polls and he calls all the sexually inappropriate claims as distractions.
But he has a new problem – several members of his campaign staff resigned.
With tears in his eyes, Velasquez vowed to push forward with his campaign for Miami Beach commissioner days after Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez claimed he exposed himself to her in a car.
Just hours after the allegations treasurer Gustavo Perez, field director Michael Thoennes and campaign chair Ansh Grover resigned from their positions.
Velasquez shrugged the news and said only one of them was on a payroll.
“A few volunteers who helped me withdrew their support,” he said.
His campaign chair confirms neither he nor the treasurer were being paid, but their positions were essential to the campaign. They decided to resign after what they say they no longer believed their candidates values.
“When you’re having numerous allegations you know having a hard time understanding exactly the whole realm of everything at that point it’s a pattern,” said Grover.
Hours after Rosen Gonzalez went public, another woman, a publicist, came forward claiming he groped her while taking a photo.
Velasquez apologized to the woman for what he calls a compliment but denied ever touching her.
She released a text message exchange. One reads: “you felt good.”
“You felt good… that doesn’t sound like that’s not physical,” CBS4’s Silva Harapetian told him.
“As I said, you text fast… it felt good to see you, it’s been a while,” he responded. “If I made a typo, I apologize for it.”
He says he’s going to stay focused on the campaign and will let the voters decide. Early voting has already started. Election Day is November 7th.