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Candidate has new ad minus fire trucks

John Russo was back before the television cameras filming a new campaign commercial Friday, this time with no fire trucks in the background.

At the request of county officials, Russo agreed Friday to pull an earlier ad that pictured him wearing fire gear and standing in front of two fire trucks at the Connell Heights fire station.

Russo, a deputy county fire marshal, is running for the County Commission's District 2 seat.

The ad began running last week on the Telesat cable television system.

County Administrator Tony Shoemaker said Wednesday that Russo violated county policy barring unauthorized use of equipment. Shoemaker raised the possibility of disciplinary action but left the decision to county Public Safety Director Tad Stone.

On Friday, Stone wrote Russo he would consider the matter closed if Russo pulled the ad.

Russo, who had called the county policy vague, said Friday, "I think it's unfortunate the way it had to come down, but I'm happy with the way Tad resolved things."

The new ad features Russo wearing a business suit and standing in front of a U.S. flag. But while the earlier ad was to have been shown countywide, the new one will appear only on Telesat, which reaches homes in Inverness and Beverly Hills.

The county's other cable network, Time Warner Cable, reaches countywide but required one week advance notice to run the ad, said Steve Parker of QPI Productions, which produced both of Russo's ads. Election Day is Nov. 8; Russo faces Commissioner Gary Bartell.