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Vague letter attacking Cazares passed on to FBI

Title: Vague letter attacking Cazares passed on to FBI
Date: Wednesday, 4 August 1976
Publisher: St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Author: Patrick McMahon
Main source:

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A typewritten letter to certain Pinellas and state Democratic party officials about Clearwater Mayor Gabriel Cazares was turned over to the FBI for investigation Tuesday, Cazares said.

An apparently vaguely written letter about alleged activities by Cazares, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House in 6th Congressional District, was received by some state and local party officials last week, and a followup letter apparently was mail to other party members this week. Pinellas Democratic Party Chairman Howard Lawrence called the letter "a very crude attempt at character assassination . . . loaded with innuendos" and "the lowest form of political trickery."

Cazares, reached for comment, said he no longer had a copy of the letter (having given it to the FBI), declined to detail what charges were made, and refused to comment on or deny the content of the letter.

The St. Petersburg Times was unable to obtain a copy of the first letter Tuesday, but Lawrence and others offered their versions of what they believed the letter contained.

PERSONS FAMILIAR with the letter said it was signed by a "Sharon T" and referred in vague terms to a dinner with Cazares in Washington, D.C., and alluded to a hit-and-run accident involving a pedestrian and a car. The letter supposedly contained no names, dates, times or other information that could be used to verify any of the information.

Lawrence said the letter came addressed to the party's post office box and was marked "To Whom It May Concern."

He said other state party officials also received it last week, and this week some local party members received another letter suggesting that the party look into the matter.

CAZARES said the original letter "has no return address" and is postmarked Washington, July 28. He refused to speculate about who would send such letters, but ruled out the idea that his Republican opponent U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young, R-St. Petersburg, had anything to do with it.

"I won't comment on the letter in any way," he said. ". . . By its very nature it can be read several ways." He said it is "an unsigned letter and contains no real specifics."