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Democratic leaders touring Panhandle

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Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel and President Sally Boynton Brown are taking a two-day tour of the Panhandle to “energize the Democratic base and spread the party’s message of economic growth and opportunity to all corners of the state,” they said in a Wednesday news release. 

“I ran for party chair to build permanent progressive infrastructure throughout the state and elect Democrats at every level of office,” Bittel said.

“The Florida Panhandle provides a unique opportunity for us to show the entire nation how to communicate our Democratic values in red areas and find ways to connect to all types of voters,” he added. “We are thrilled to hear from Party leaders from around the region about what they need from our staff to run effective electoral programs.”

More from the release:

The trip throughout the Panhandle will serve as a listening tour encouraging discussion about the unique challenges that counties in the Panhandle face regularly when working to elect Democrats.

In 2008 President Obama performed better in parts of the Panhandle than any Democrat running for President since Jimmy Carter. This tour will serve as the beginning of a long-term initiative to turn the Panhandle blue again.

Below are​ the tour stops and details:

Tuesday, May 9th:

Escambia County

Santa Rosa County

Okaloosa County

Walton County

Holmes County

Wednesday, May 10th:

Washington County

Bay County

Gadsden County

Jefferson County

Madison County

Taylor County

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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