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Charlie Crist to host first town hall meeting this Saturday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Charlie Crist will host his first town hall meeting as a member of Congress this Saturday in St. Petersburg.

The event will take place between 10:00 a.m and 12:00 p.m. at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s Student Center (that’s at 200 6th Avenue South).

“My number one job is the be the voice of the people – hearing from my neighbors on issues of concern, advocating for the needs of our community, and providing updates on my work on behalf of Florida’s 13th district,” Crist said in a statement. “My constituents are my boss, and this town hall will be an open forum for Pinellas residents to share their views and priorities so I can better serve them in Washington.”

At a neighborhood meeting in South St. Petersburg last Saturday, Crist met with about 20 citizens and discussed local and federal issues. It was there that he said he would soon be announcing his first official town hall meeting since being elected in November.

The meetings seem to be an indication that Crist is now phasing into being “the people’s congressman” after a rocky first month in office that culminated a week ago with the announcement that he was divorcing his wife, Carole.

At that community meeting last week, two different citizens questioned his stance on issues such as the GOP’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and whether there should be an investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with the Russian government. Crist said he had been clear on both issues – that he was against the repeal, and was calling for an independent, 9-11 type commission to investigate any potential Trump-Russia connection.

On Tuesday, Crist announced his support for a resolution of inquiry proposed by New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler that called on the Department of Justice to provide Congress with all information from any investigations into the president’s conflicts of interest, ethical violations and connections and contacts with Russia.

That proposal went down to defeat later in the day in a party-line vote in the House Judiciary Committee.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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