FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The 2020 Florida legislative session kicked off Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Republican state Rep. Chris Latvala of Clearwater, accused U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., of having founded a long-rumored sex game played among lawmakers in the Florida House a few years ago.

The accusation came on Twitter at the height of a heated exchange between the two lawmakers after Latvala tweeted a picture of himself next to civil rights activist and politician Al Sharpton and wrote, “It was an honor to meet @TheRevAl today.”

This prompted a reply from Gaetz, who tweeted, “Sharpton has called cops ‘pigs,’ whites ‘interlopers,’ Greeks ‘homos’ and Jews ‘diamond merchants,’ so that is pretty disgusting.”

Latvala responded by accusing Gaetz of having “created a game where members of the FL House got ‘points’ for sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists and married legislators.”

Both Latvala and Gaetz have fathers who served in the Florida Senate, and the two families have a long, simmering history of dislike. Before getting elected to Congress, Gaetz served in the House from 2010 to 2016. Latvala was first elected to the House in 2014.

The sex game in question was still rumored to be in progress during the 2014 and 2015 sessions. It was brought to public light in 2013 by Politico reporter Marc Caputo, then working for the Miami Herald, who tweeted, “Hey ladies! Source: young male FL Reps have point-system contest for having sex: 1 - lobbyist 2 - staff 3 - other legislator 6 - married legislator.”

Caputo did not name the creator of the game at the time, and Gaetz has denied having invented, participated in or having any knowledge of the game to the Tampa Bay Times, which asked him about it Tuesday.

The dam having been broken open with Latvala’s tweet, Gaetz then brought up Latvala’s father, former state Sen. Jack Latvala, who resigned from office following accusations of sexual misconduct. Latvala then alluded to Gaetz’s 2008 arrest for DUI, charges for which were later dropped. The Florida legislative session lasts 60 days. Tomorrow is day two.


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