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State Rep. Tom Grady files lawsuit demanding Charlie Crist return contributions

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From the Naples Daily News:

Linda Morton of Naples donated $500 to Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate election campaign, while John Rood of Jacksonville, a retired U.S. ambassador, donated $4,800 to the Republican.

Now they want a refund.

The two have filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all contributors who are demanding their money back after Crist announced he’d run as an Independent.

“Crist has made it clear that he believes a candidate should not say one thing and do another,” says the lawsuit, filed last week in Collier Circuit Court. “… The parties agree with Crist.”

The two are represented by Rep. Tom Grady, R-Naples, who resigned as regional chairman of Crist’s Senate campaign and from the statewide finance team after the Republican switched parties. Grady couldn’t immediately be reached for comment this afternoon.

By law, individual donors are limited to giving $2,400 for the primary and another $2,400 for the general election, which is what Rood did. Morton contributed to Crist’s campaign for the primary, donating $500. Crist is not required to return the money.

Crist’s spokesman wasn’t immediately available for comment this afternoon, but a campaign worker said no money had been returned.

The lawsuit notes Crist made the switch days after issuing an April 8 press release that said: “This should completely and utterly put to rest any of the unfounded rumors coming from the (former House Speaker Marco) Rubio campaign that Governor Crist would run as anything other than the Republican that he is.”

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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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