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Democratic presidential debate parties to be held on both sides of Tampa Bay

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Hillsborough County Young Democrats will be hosting a party to watch the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night at the Aloft Hotel (100 W. Kennedy Blvd) in Tampa, followed by a straw poll. The event starts at 8 p.m. in the hotel’s Tactic Room and is free and open to the public.

“I think this will be a great forum for young people to start talking about the issues that are truly important to them in the upcoming election, and we are here to show them what they can do to effectively support the candidacy of whichever candidate’s views align with their ideals,” says Cesar Hernandez, president of the Hillsborough Young Democrats. “The straw poll will give us a good idea of who Tampa’s young professionals support.”

Meanwhile, the North Pinellas County supporters for Bernie Sanders are having what organizers there claim will be one of the largest debate watch events in the Bay area at Silverking Brewery in Tarpon Springs.

The event already has 110 people signed up to attend, and organizers are calling on those attending to participate in a canned food drive.

The Florida Democratic presidential primary is scheduled for March 15.

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

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