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Crist brings newsy date to temple services

Gov. Charlie Crist arrived with a surprise companion as he attended Yom Kippur services on Friday evening at Temple Beth Sholom, as a guest of Miami Beach state Rep. Dan Gelber. At the governor's side was CBS-4 reporter Jennifer Santiago.

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Santiago's website links to her Wikipedia entry which notes that she's an award-winning journalist, a graduate of Villanova University law school, and a former Playboy model. At the time of her Playboy pictorials, such as Voluptuous Vixens and 1998 Nudes, she used the name Jennifer Klarman. She also speaks Hebrew.

The governor told the Herald his visit to the reform congregation in Miami Beach on the holiest day of the Jewish year would be the first time he's attended services on the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Update Thursday, Sept. 27: Santiago says it was not a "date." Santiago called The Herald to complain about the use of the word in the original headline on this blog item, saying the word "date'' implies intimacy.

"I am not dating the governor," she said. She said she is engaged to someone else. Her meeting with the governor on Friday "was celebrating a personal victory," she said.

Santiago said that she and the governor are friends and he invited her to temple after they had spoken about the decision by the governor and clemency board on Thursday to pardon Richard Paey, an accident victim with chronic pain convicted on drug trafficking charges. She had reported extensively on Paey's conviction and "gave the story to the governor," she said.   

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