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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Welcome to the Commission race, Murman: You've been served



Trey Rustmann, a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission, has filed an elections complaint against fellow Republican and opponent Sandra Murman. And he's using her own words against her.

Rustmann claims Murman, a former state legislator, violated state elections law prohibiting prospective political office seekers from collecting campaign donations before they've filed formal paperwork declaring their candidacy and establishing a campaign account. He notes that Murman supplied a $5,552.76 check to the Supervisor of Elections Office drawn from a campaign account as a qualifying fee on June 17, moments after filling out her paperwork. She had not previously set up a campaign account.

So, Rustmann reasons, she must have accepted donations, even if it was a personal loan to her account, before she was permitted.

Murman was quoted in the Times Thursday taking Democrat John Dingfelder to task for failing to handle his resignation from the Tampa City Council properly in qualifying to run for the same Commission seat.

"As she stated regarding John Dingfelder's qualification issues, 'Attention to details is very important, especially in this job as county commissioner,'" Rustmann said. "I couldn't agree more. And the fact that she used to serve as a member of the the very legislature that is responsible for writing the elections laws of Florida makes her violation even more egregious."

Attempts to reach Murman were not immediately successful. Rustmann is a project manager for the professional staffing firm Kforce.

Bill Varian, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]


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