An unlikely romance blossomed in Florida for an undetermined amount of time, as the lovers kept it top secret for obvious reasons. It appears that possibly out of convenience, two Florida senators living just across the hall of their condominium complex began an affair lasting for at least nine months, possibly longer, despite both parties being married. Their relationship has since been uncovered, with the adulterers now seeking forgiveness.
The couple seems an unlikely match at first, considering that they are politicians representing opposing parties, though Republican Senator Anitere Flores and Democrat Senator Oscar Braynon became romantically involved, likely sometime last year. Though they tried to be discreet, keeping the physical elements of the affair confined to the privacy of Braynon’s apartment, an unknown source had suspected the scandal, video recording them since April.
On Tuesday, an anonymous reporter launched a website called floresbraynonaffair.com, which featured video footage of the hallway connecting Flores and Braynon’s units. The unfaithful couple reportedly lived just across the hall from each other, their doors separated only by six feet.
The person who uncovered the affair became suspicious last April, inspiring the amateur investigation. “From April 11th to the 13th,” he studied Braynon and Flores’ patterns and schedules provided by the Florida Senate website’s calendar taking note that Flores and Braynon would be at the same political functions. He studied surveillance of them “from April 17th to April 20th,” but nothing pointing to an affair had been suggested.
Requiring further proof to back up the suspicions, the investigator moved the efforts into the sixth floor of the Tennyson Condominiums in Tallahassee, a known home to many Florida politicians where both Braynon and Flores resided. With “unrestricted access” to common areas, thanks to another resident, he learned shortly after that the Senators’ unit numbers were only one digit off and were catty-corner from each other off the hall.
On April 21, the creator or floresbraynonaffair.com successfully captured footage of Flores exiting her apartment, crossing the hall into Braynon’s, and remaining there overnight. The apparent sleepovers continued for the next three nights, with Flores shown leaving the unit either in the same clothes from the previous day, or in her pajamas. In one shot, the two can be seen exiting Braynon’s apartment together, though they are careful to keep their distance in public.
In the footage, Flores can clearly be seen crossing the hall of the apartment complex into Braynon’s unit using her own key. Reasonable suspicion suggests no other cause for the married woman to spend such significant time in the Minority Leader’s apartment other than a romantic affair.
Braynon and Flores have since “released a joint statement” admitting their affair and expressing that they do not want to the story of their relationship drawing attention away from the politics that they were supposed to be focusing on instead of one another. They have expressed remorse, asking for forgiveness from their “families, constituents, and God,” and also that their families be given privacy to process and recover from the revelation.
While some may find it disturbing that someone took the time and effort to reveal the scandal, public officials are aware that they are under constant scrutiny, and must always conduct themselves morally, as it speaks to their character which is indicative of their ethics as lawmakers.
Though somewhat intrusive to be filmed right outside of their homes, the investigating citizen did not break any laws and only recorded in areas where absolute privacy is not guaranteed. In other words, Braynon and Flores knew the risks they were taking with their reputations in initiating and continuing the affair.
It is not clear whether this will negatively affect the careers of Flores and Braynon from Florida districts 39 and 35, respectively. The news comes during a time when sexual misconduct in the spotlight is being taken extremely seriously. House Speaker Richard Corcoran admitted that while the events were consensual, such scandalous behavior will not be pardoned.
Senators Flores and Braynon made an undeniable mistake in their decision to become romantically involved. Not only did they betray their families, but also crossed lines in their professional lives which will affect how Florida residents and other Americans view them as politicians, possibly swaying votes. Political figures opt for a life of scrutiny when they enter the profession and generally keep their images professional at all times. However, when emotions become more important than the work at hand, as they did in Florida, political media focuses instead on scandal.