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Florida Democrats to choose delegates to convention this Saturday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

On Saturday, Democrats from each of Florida’s 27 congressional districts will meet in congressional district caucuses to elect 135 district-level delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.

Later on, the district-level delegates will meet to select 27 Pledged Party Leader and Elected Official (PLEO) Delegates, 45 At-Large Delegates, and 17 At-Large Alternates to the Democratic National Convention.

In the Florida Democratic primary on March 15, Hillary Clinton shellacked Bernie Sanders, beating him 64 to 33 percent. However, unlike the GOP primary where Donald Trump took home all 99 delegates in the winner-take-all scenario, the Dems distribute their delegates on a proportional basis. Thus, Clinton took 141 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 71.

In the Tampa Bay area, voting will take place for delegates in Congressional Districts 12, 13 14, 15 and 17.

The balloting for District 12 (Gus Bilirakis‘ seat) will take place at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, 3060 U.S. Highway 19 in Holiday.

The balloting for District 13 (David Jolly’s seat) will take place at the Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee headquarters at 2250 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg.

The balloting for District 14 (Kathy Castor’s seat) will take place in both St. Petersburg and in Tampa at the West Tampa Library at 2312 W. Union St.

The balloting for District 15 (Dennis Ross’ seat) takes place at the Brunton Memorial Library at 302 W McLendon, Plant City.

Balloting for districts 12, 15 and 17 will also take place in Tampa.

Among those vying to be a delegate for Hillary Clinton in CD 14 on the female slate include Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, HD 61 candidate Dianne Hart, Pinellas County Democratic chair Susan McGrath and former Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus President Sally Phillips.

Democratic males in CD 14 include HD 68 candidate Ben Diamond, former UT political science professor Rich Piper and Larry Biddle, who worked on the Howard Dean campaign.

Female candidates vying to be a Bernie Sanders candidate in District 12 include Progressive Caucus chair Susan Smith and Ellen Floriani, former vice president of the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County.

There are 13 females running for the one female slot in CD 13 to be a Sanders delegate in Pinellas County, and six men for the one slot.

And in CD 15, former CAIR executive director Ahmed Bedier, and cannabis activist Chris Cano are among six men trying to be the one Bernie Sanders delegate out of that congressional district.

The balloting will take place in all  locations from 10 a.m – 2 p.m.

All registered Democratic voters are eligible to vote for district-level delegate candidates running in their respective 2014 congressional districts.

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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