Tampa City Council candidate returns donation from party

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Sign outside early vote location in West Tampa. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News (October 2012).

The Chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee has filed a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission because a candidate for Tampa City Council accepted a $1,000 donation from the Hillsborough Republican Party. Tim Davison is in a nonpartisan race in a special election for Tampa City Council district 7, the north part of the city. The complaint against him was filed by Ione Townsend.

Listen:

“According the Tampa City Charter and ordinances, that’s against the election rules for non-partisan races. This race is considered non-partisan and the ordinance specifically states that municipal elections that are non-partisan and no candidate can solicit or accept monies for their campaign from a political party.”

Townsend says Davison illegally accepted the $1,000 gift from the Republican Party and that any citizen can file a complaint. For his part, Davison says the issue is moot because the money has been returned.

“Yeah, it’s already been taken care of. I mean, I didn’t solicit anything. The Republican Party allotted monies to candidates and their lawyer said that it was okay. I deposited the money. I was informed, I guess this past Monday — or last Monday, that there was a discrepancy in the Tampa Charter and within 72-hours the money was returned and it’s all done.”

Davison is an emergency room physician. He says there’s not much more he can do besides what he’s done – return the money.

“I mean, I returned it. I don’t know what else I can do. You know, the elections department — the state board of elections will do what they have to do and I’ll await their decision.

“I don’t see any unethical behavior on my part, that’s for sure.”

Hillsborough Democratic Executive Committee chair Townsend says the county Democratic Party does not make contributions to or endorse candidates in the nonpartisan races for Tampa City Council.

There are five other candidates running: Orlando Gudes, Avis Simone Harrison, Gene Siudut, Cyril Spiro and Luis Viera.

 

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