WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A comeback is in the works tonight for a political power broker who resigned just two months ago.
Former Palm Beach Democratic Chair Mark Siegel says he should be given a new role in the county Democratic party, despite all the attention he got when he told a reporter in September that he was not a fan of Christianity.
"The worst possible allies for the Jewish state are the fundamentalist Christians who want Jews to die and convert, so they can bring on the second coming of their lord," Siegel said, back in September.
Siegel said tonight that the comment was taken out of context and that he should be given a new role in the party leadership as state committeeman.
"They just made up remarks which were to me so embarrassing and humiliating if I had actually said them. But I didn't," Siegel said. "Listen to the words carefully. I can assure you that I did not say and would not say that any Christian today, any evangelical, fundamentalist Christian today wants to slaughter Jews or anybody else."
He said the comments were made during a discussion over the "end of times."
"We're talking about what would happen not at the hand of Christians, but at someone's hands after the rapture."
He says if he were state committeeman, he could help beat Governor Scott in 2014 by bringing Palm Beach's grassroots effort statewide.
"The state party has moved in that direction but needs to make a complete commitment to grassroots operations rather than just being a super PAC that just buys nasty ads on television," said Siegel.
He's running against current committeeman John Ramos, who says he almost ran for something else, but that he was encouraged by party leaders around the state to make sure Siegel didn't get the job.
"He needs to take a break, take a time out. Mark is a very bright, intelligent man. What he said in Charlotte hurt a lot of people," said Ramos. "It does not reflect the party well at all at this time, especially with the victories we've had on November 6th. We don't want to get distracted, having him back in the fold."
The third candidate in the race, Irv Rosenthal, says Siegel has exercised bad judgment.
The vote will take place on December 6th.
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