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Mitch Perry Report for 6.10.16 – Bob Poe’s courage

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Former Florida Democratic Party state chairman Bob Poe revealed Thursday that he’s HIV-positive. The 61-year-old Democrat says in a video that he’s healthy because he got tested and diagnosed early, but he wanted to share his condition publicly to “remove the fear, the stigma and the shame that goes with this.” “It’s those things that keep people from getting the diagnosis and the treatment that they need to live perfectly healthy lives like I have,” he says. “I have a motto in my life:…

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HD 68 candidate Ben Diamond announces that he’s raised over $100,000 in May

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The campaign for House District 68 Democratic candidate Ben Diamond announced on Thursday that the St. Petersburg attorney had raised over $100,000 in his first full month of fundraising in May – with $75,752 of that into his direct campaign committee, and an additional $30,000 into Protecting Pinellas Families, a political committee associated with his campaign. Campaign officials say that’s the most money raised in single month this election cycle than any other Democratic House candidate. “I’m so grateful for all the support…

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Dwight Dudley’s spouse backing Ben Diamond in HD 68 race

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With Democratic state representative Dwight Dudley now running for a judgeship in Pinellas County, the House District 68 member can’t endorse anyone in the race to succeed him this fall. His wife can, obviously, and so on Tuesday, Mary Rachel Dudley, Dudley’s longtime spouse, announced that she was backing St. Petersburg attorney Ben Diamond in the contest. “He is the best candidate to carry on my husband’s legacy of fighting for the people of Pinellas County and for families just like ours,” she…

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Bob Buckhorn endorses Ben Diamond in the HD 68 race

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is weighing on a race dividing Democrats in Pinellas County, backing St. Petersburg attorney Ben Diamond in the House District 68 contest. “Ben Diamond is an asset to Tampa Bay,” Buckhorn said in a statement released Thursday. “His commitment to fairness and his experience in Tallahassee make him the best candidate to help move our region forward. I look forward to working with him to make Tampa Bay an even better place to live and work.”…

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Charlie Justice says he’s still endorsing Ben Diamond, but Eric Lynn has his support

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Updated- After we reported this morning that Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice had switched from endorsing Ben Diamond in the  House District 68 candidate Ben Diamond to being neutral in the race with fellow Democrat Eric Lynn, we received a call from Tom Alte, Diamond’s campaign manager, saying that Justice was still endorsing Diamond. We went back and reviewed the statement sent to us by Justice on Thursday. In fact, Justice does that, “while Ben asked for and received my endorsement,…

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Mitch Perry Report for 5.27.16 – Lighting strikes no more

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The somewhat improbable Tampa Bay Lightning run for a second straight appearance in the Stanley Cup ended last night around 11 p.m. when they lost Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 2-1. The Lightning were pretty thoroughly outplayed if you go by shots-on-goal, but the last eight minutes or so were absolutely nail-biting. There’s a reason why the National Hockey League is considered a distant fourth when it comes to our major sports leagues in…

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Kathy Castor is backing Ben Diamond over Eric Lynn in HD 68 race

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Tampa Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor is endorsing St. Petersburg-based attorney Ben Diamond in the campaign for the open House District 68 seat. “Ben is a strong leader on issues that matter to us in Tampa Bay,” Castor said in a statement released by the Diamond campaign on Thursday. “Ben’s work on the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative in 2014 shows he will be a good partner to work with in preserving our unique and beautiful Florida environment which in…

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