A son of Holocaust survivors, who is running for reelection in the Florida statehouse, has apologized to the Anti-Defamation League after labeling the group “despicable.”

The ADL had criticized Sheldon Lisbon after he sent out an email to supporters in June with the subject line, “A vote for Shelly Lisbon is a vote for the Jewish community,” according to the Miami Herald.

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In a response letter to Lisbon, the ADL wrote that “appealing to voters along religious lines is divisive,” according to the newspaper. Lisbon then told the editorial board of the Miami Herald that the ADL’s comments were “despicable.”

Lisbon, who had sent the email to members of his synagogue, is challenging state Rep. Joe Gibbons, who is African American, in the state’s newly drawn District 100. Redistricting put the two in the same district.

The new district puts only 43 percent of the voters in Broward County, the rest being in Miami-Dade County. The state’s Democratic primary is Aug. 14.

In an email to the Miami Herald Thursday night Gibbons wrote, “I used a term that is far removed from what the ADL represents. What I did was totally inexcusable and as a son of Holocaust survivors who was born in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany, my statement was reprehensible.”

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