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Congressional candidate returns contributions



Hackworth The mayor of Dunedin has returned two contributions to his congressional campaign because he felt the donors were trying to influence him.

Bob Hackworth said today he returned $500 from two Dunedin developers. At a runaway Dunedin City Commission meeting last month, Richard Gehring and Bill Kimpton argued with the commission when it tried to set an expiration date on development plans approved by the city. They asked for an exception for their major downtown project that the commission approved three years ago, Hackworth said.

Hackworth, a Democrat, is running for Congressional District 10 and will face two other Democrats in an Aug. 26 primary to determine who faces the incumbent, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Hackworth said he has received phone calls from other developers who tried to pressure him into changing his mind on the issue. They said they were ready to donate to his campaign but didn't because of his position on the site plan ordinance.

Hackworth, who will consider the issue again tonight at another meeting, said he didn't want the conflict of interest looming over his vote.

"That’s not how I make my decisions, and they know better than that," Hackworth said. "I just wasn’t comfortable and so I figured it was best to send them back."

--Stephanie Garry, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:32am]


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