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Senate Ethics complaint filed against Bill Nelson

The race for Senate continues to heat up between Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Bill Nelson, with the Democratic incumbent being dinged with an Ethics Complaint this week that Nelson’s team is calling a “political stunt.”

Former Republican Party of Florida Chair Leslie Dougher, a Scott ally, charged that during an Apr. 3 event, Nelson used governmental funds for political activities, promoting an appearance in a government building for a political purpose.

The event in question, per Dougher’s complaint: a “meet and greet” in Port St. Joe at the Board of County Commissioners building, “an illegal campaign event on government property.”

Dougher contends that the Gulf County Democrats promoted this as a “political event,” even as the official position for the board was to “discuss issues of local importance.”

Dougher’s complaint also notes that a tracker was removed for trying to film the event; said tracker was told that only “legitimate press” could film the event, held in a public building.

Dougher cites an “appearance of impropriety” as a threshold bearing this complaint.

Nelson’s Senate comms director Ryan Brown was terse in reaction.

“This is the definition of a political stunt,” Brown said.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades, with bylines in national and local publications alike on subjects ranging from pop music to national and global politics. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014, and has held a column in Jacksonville, Florida's Folio Weekly for two decades. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." Gancarski is a frequent presence on Jacksonville television and radio, including fill-in slots on WJCT-FM's award-winning talk show "First Coast Connect." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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