SEMINOLE — State House candidate Dawn Thompson must change some of her campaign literature because it violates House rules.
Some of Thompson's fliers display the Florida House of Representatives seal, a no-no, according to a letter written to her by Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, chairman of the Rules and Calendar Council.
"The official seal of the House of Representatives shall be used only by or on behalf of a member or officer of the House in conjunction with his or her official duties or when specifically authorized in writing by the chair of the Rules & Calendar Council," Galvano wrote.
"I would respectfully ask that you remove the House seal from your campaign literature," he concluded.
Thompson, 42, said only one piece of campaign literature had the seal on it.
"I didn't know about the seal," Thompson said. But she "removed it immediately" when she received Galvano's letter.
This is the third time that Thompson has been accused of violating rules.
St. Petersburg resident Maurice Wappler, whose hobby is catching candidates' missteps, filed a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission on Sept. 18 — five days before she became a candidate — that she spent money on her campaign before appointing a campaign treasurer and opening a bank account. State law requires candidates to have both before spending any money on their races.
Thompson said she is new to campaigning in Florida and, if she broke the law, she did not mean to do so.
The elections commission has scheduled a hearing on that complaint this morning in Tallahassee.
Thompson also ran afoul of the city of Seminole last fall. The city issued a stop work order against her and her husband, Steven, for failing to get a permit to remove a fiberglass pool and replace it with a concrete pool. Thompson blamed a pool contractor who told her no permit was needed. Officials said the Thompsons obtained a permit and no citation was issued.
Thompson, a Republican, is running for the House District 51 seat held by Democrat Janet Long of Seminole. Thompson is facing Larry Ahern, a St. Petersburg business owner in the Aug. 24 primary. District 51 stretches down the western side of Pinellas County from Largo to South Pasadena and includes Seminole and parts of Pinellas Park and unincorporated Lealman.