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GOP debate watch parties scheduled in Tampa, Valrico and Lutz

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Wondering where to watch tomorrow night’s GOP debate? If you’re a Tampa Bay area Republican, we’ve got you covered.

The “CruzCrew” of Ted Cruz supporters will be at Havana Blues in Tampa located at 5319 Ehrlic Road.

Three GOP clubs will meet at various places around the Tampa Bay area. The Greater Brandon Republican Club will be at the Landing Bar and Grill in Valrico located at 4351 Lynx Paw Trail. Tampa Bay Young Republicans will be at 5303 West Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa at the Mojito Restaurant and Lounge. And the North Hillsborough Republican Club will been at Ballyhoo Grill at 7604 Ehrlich Road in Tampa.

A group of Ben Carson supporters will meet at the Vine Restaurant and Wine Bar at 17667 North Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz.

Sadly there don’t appear to be any Donald Trump supporters meeting in the Bay area. Nor do there appear to be liberal or progressive groups meeting to laugh and scoff at the debate.

South Florida congressional candidate and former Charlie Crist running mate Annette Taddeo is using the debate as an opportunity for a “full night of laughs” and GOP trivia. Oh, and supporters can donate to her campaign, obviously. She’s recommending $26 representing her attempt to “take back the 26th District.”

Participating in the CNN debate moderated by Jake Tapper are GOP candidates Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie and, moving up from the kids’ table debate, Carly Fiorina.

Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt are panelists.

For viewers without cable, CNN will stream the 9 p.m. debate on its website and through iOS and Android apps for free without necessary login information. The previous Fox News debate required a cable subscription to watch online. Coverage of the debate begins at 8 p.m.

Online viewers should have a plan B to view the debate. The Fox live stream had numerous technical difficulties potentially fueled by a 24-million-viewer turnout.

The second GOP debate is being held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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