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Pat Kemp using 2014 campaign signs in 2016

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pat Kemp is a major environmentalist, which means she ardently believes in recycling — so much so that she’s recycled signs from her 2014 campaign in 2016.

Kemp is running on Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 race against attorneys Brian Willis and John Dicks, and Pastor Tom Scott. She nearly won the District 7 countywide seat back in 2014, narrowly losing out to Republican Al Higginbotham.

Signs clearly marked from Kemp’s 2014 campaign can be seen on streets throughout Tampa on Monday. They read, “Pat Kemp, Hillsborough County Commission, Countywide, District 7.”

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Florida law (under statute 106.143) requires candidates to include disclaimers on their political advertisements — the fine print at the bottom of yard signs, TV ads and elsewhere — listing their name, party affiliation and the office they are seeking. Violations can lead to fines, but only if someone files a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission and prevails. An official with the Florida Elections Commission told FloridaPolitics that she could not offer an advisory opinion, and told us to check with the Division of Elections.

Kevin Thurman is a supporter of Brian Willis in the District 6 race, who brought the issue to SPB’s attention.

“It’s just weird that Pat would use signs from an election she lost instead of printing up new ones with the correct disclaimer,” he said. “It risks thousands of dollars in fines for violating ethics rules for a few hundred dollars of signs.”

Kemp did not return our request for comment.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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