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Protesters call on Gov. Rick Scott to return $1.2 million in campaign donations from Duke Energy

Standing with a giant caricature posing as Gov. Rick Scott, about a four-dozen protesters gathered outside the governor's St. Petersburg campaign office and called on him to return $1.2 million in donations from Duke Energy.

The group, led by billionaire Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate political committee, called the donations to Scott "dirty money" that they aruge was wrongfully taken from Duke ratepayers for nuclear projects that never materialized.

In addition to urging Scott to return the $1.2 billion, the protesters urged on the governor to help ratepayers get $3.2 billion refunded to them that Duke collected for the nuclear projects.

"Today we're issuing the Duke Energy dirty money challenge," said state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, who was the primary speaker at the event. "We're calling on (Scott) to give back the dirty money he has received."

The Scott campaign responded with campaign spokesman Greg Blair saying, "If people are calling on candidates to return donations, I'll forward you a couple things that our opponent needs to answer for."

Blair added: Charlie Crist has "still refused to return the $40,000 he received from strip club owners with legal troubles. Dirty money from shady donors: that's the Charlie Crist way."