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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Calvert objects to claims she misused committee appointment

A primary challenger to Republican Victor Crist's Hillsborough County Commission reelection campaign last year says she objects to accusations she used an appointment to the county's Citizens Advisory Committee as a soapbox for her campaign.

Commissioners voted 5-1 Wednesday in favor of a policy prohibiting candidates for office from serving on county-appointed boards to prevent those office-seekers from using the post to advance their campaigns. While commissioners didn't use her name, two of them claimed Crist faced just those circumstances in his last election in terms that made clear they were talking about Sharon Calvert, his Republican primary challenger.

First, it should be noted, Crist appointed Calvert after hearing rumors she might challenge his reelection in 2012, which the Times has previously reported. Further, Calvert points out that she previously offered to resign the appointment when in fact she did file to run and he told her it was not necessary, which he also has previously confirmed. She later did step down after actually qualifying to run, but said that that was over a disagreement with Crist on another matter.

Further, she said she never did anything to advance her campaign or disparage Crist's.

"I never did that," Calvert said.

For the record, Crist was the lone vote against Democrat Les Miller's proposal. He said he thought it would be wrong to place that limitation on candidates for office when incumbents have multiple opportunities to advance their campaigns through the boards on which they serve. He called it a double standard.

The move is seen as a move by some commissioners to keep Terry Kemple, an anti-gay-rights activist and school board candidate, from serving on a proposed diversity committee to which he has sought appointment.

 

[Last modified: Thursday, June 6, 2013 10:55pm]

    

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