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RPOF: Schools superintendent should ask Crist to stop using ad

from Cara Fitzpatrick of the Tampa Bay Times:

School administrators at St. Petersburg High allowed Charlie Crist to film a campaign ad at their school in violation of School Board policy. Now the Republican Party of Florida would like superintendent Mike Grego to ask Crist to stop using the ad.

Juston Johnson, executive director of the RPOF, wrote a strongly worded letter to Grego in which he said the TV advertisement made it appear that the School Board endorsed Crist, who is running as a Democrat against Gov. Rick Scott.

Johnson wrote, "I write to respectfully request that you take immediate action to prevent the appearance of the School Board's endorsement of a political candidate by demanding that all stations currently airing this ad cease doing so."

He said that Grego needed to ensure that the integrity of the school system is maintained.

The Crist campaign started airing the TV spot last week. In it, Crist attacks Scott's record on education. Crist also references his own education at St. Petersburg High, where he was class president and quarterback of the football team. The name of the school is featured in the beginning of the ad.

The school district released a statement Wednesday saying the filming was the result of an "error in judgment."

The letter was delivered Thursday and there hasn't been a response from Grego yet.

Read the letter below.

Download Pinellas County Schools Letter

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