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Aakash Patel admonished for ad featuring presidential seal

The GOP candidate for Hillsborough County Commission used a photo of him with President Trump as he pushes back against claims he's not conservative enough.
Aakash Patel, founder and president of Elevate Inc., is running for Hillsborough County Commission. [Times files]
Aakash Patel, founder and president of Elevate Inc., is running for Hillsborough County Commission. [Times files]
Published Jul. 6, 2018

Under attack from his Republican Hillsborough county commission primary opponent Todd Marks over his conservative credentials, Aakash Patel fought back with a mailer including a photo of himself with President Donald Trump.

The grip-and-grin shot is embellished with the presidential seal.
Oops. That's a no-no under federal law.

"Technically the mail vendor probably shouldn't have used it," said Patel consultant April Schiff. "He's been reprimanded and told that all future mail pieces will be reviewed by legal counsel."

The law empowers the U.S. attorney general to prosecute violations, but Patel can probably relax. Jeff Sessions doesn't appear to be taking action.