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Aakash Patel showing tremendous fundraising prowess in County Commission bid

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First-time candidate Aakash Patel has already proved one thing during his bid to win a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission: he knows how to raise money The 33-year-old Republican raised more than $41,000 for his campaign in August, bringing his total to $156,201. Add another $23,800 from his political committee, Elevate Tampa, and Patel has raised more than $180,000. 

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Tampa Chamber to Bob Buckhorn: No tax hike

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has rarely been at odds with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce during his six-and-a-half years in office. But his proposal to raise property taxes in the city for the first time in 29 years is being rejected by the Chamber.

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Rick Scott names Mike Griffin to Tampa Port Authority, slams agency’s wasteful spending

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Gov. Rick Scott has named Mike Griffin, a well-regarded local leader and current chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, to the Tampa Port Authority. While announcing Griffin’s appointment, Scott took a shot at the agency over reports of excessive spending.

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Tampa Chamber to lend helping hand to minority businesses with new accelerator program

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Tampa Bay-area minority-owned small businesses could get a leg up through a new program from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. On Thursday, the Chamber announced its Minority Business Accelerator program, geared towards helping Black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to growth. According to the Chamber website, in Hillsborough County, the demographic between minorities and non-minorities is split nearly 1:1. Hispanics represent the largest segment of the minority population-base (27 percent), followed by Blacks (nearly 18 percent)…

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Senate President denies ‘moving goal posts’ regarding USF’s drive for pre-eminence

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Florida Senate President Joe Negron is firing back at University of South Florida supporters who claim the Legislature “moved the goal posts” when they reverted language in an education conforming bill. The bill, they say, would prevent USF from reaching the 11th of 12 pre-assigned benchmarks which would qualify them for “pre-eminence,” a status that would have qualified them for millions of dollars in state funding. “This allegation is incorrect and entirely unsupported by the facts,” Negron says in a statement released Monday morning.…

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USF community outraged after last-minute budget language is inserted to keep it from achieving ‘preeminent’ status

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Officials associated with the University of South Florida this weekend are fervently seeking to change the language in an education conforming bill that will keep the university from achieving ‘pre-eminent’ status next year. A loss of the pre-eminent status for USF could result in losing much as $15 million in state funding. “The amount of people who are upset about this as of this morning is like anything else,” said Mike Griffin, president of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and a USF alumnus. In 2013,…

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HD 66 hopeful Berny Jacques starts strong, raises nearly $30K in March

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Berny Jacques raised $29,740 in March, the first month of fundraising after launching a 2018 bid for Pinellas County’s House District 66. Contributors to the former Pinellas County Assistant State Attorney’s campaign include former Jeb Bush staffer Slater Bayliss, GOP fundraiser Brent Sembler, local Republican heavyweight Jim Holton, Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chair Mike Griffin and Fritz Brogan, former Executive Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Rick Scott. Jacques also picked up an endorsement from another local Pinellas County official,…

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