Public Media for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Rep. Mercado Calls on Orange County Property Appraiser Singh to Issue an Apology

Photo: Amy Mercado for Orange County Property Appraiser
Photo: Amy Mercado for Orange County Property Appraiser

The race for Orange County Property Appraiser is heating up. 

Challenger Amy Mercado is accusing incumbent Rick Singh of making racist and sexist remarks and is calling for an apology. 

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Singh said he’s facing, “someone with a larger name ID and of course a Hispanic female, [because] they’re targeting minority Democratic women.”

Mercado says the statement implies the only reason she’s running for the office is not because of her competence or integrity, but because she’s Latina. 

“That I find blatantly offensive. Because it has nothing to do with my gender. It has to do with the type of work and professionalism that I bring to the table and the mess that he has created in his office.”

Mercado says she has years of experience both as a state legislator and businesswoman that would be ideal for the property appraiser position. 

“I personally bring a blended, multifaceted, multinational business background which spans across three distinct industries with years of experience, enabling the organizational innovation that’s necessary for an Orange County Property Appraiser’s Office.”

Singh was elected to the office in 2012. He has been accused by employees of sexual and racial harassment.

In a statement after the story aired, Singh said, "this is a bogus issue and another Tallahassee trick to distract the voters." 

"I take allegations of racism and sexism very seriously-these are issues I've fought against all my life. I am a minority, I was raised by a single mother after the death of my father, and I have a minority daughter who is running in the same election cycle," he wrote.

"It is ludicrous, insulting even, to think that I would ever slander or slight minorities or women."
If you'd like to listen to this story, click on the clip at the top of the page.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.