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Hillary Clinton campaign about to ramp up in Florida

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Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will be kicking off a major grassroots organizing effort starting next week, sending staffers to all 50 states in the country to begin building up a network of volunteers to start getting selling the message on a Clinton candidacy.

It’s being called the “Ramp up Grassroots Organizing Program,” and will be led in Florida by Sandy Ducane, a Fort Lauderdale native and University of Florida alum. Ducane served as the Regional GOTV director in 2014 for the Iowa Democratic Party, served as the deputy state director with Organizing for Action in Florida, the grassroots arm of President Obama’s campaign in the Sunshine State.

Clinton has been engaging in a series of low-key meetings with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire over the past two weeks. Officials with the campaign say she’ll continue to do that for a few more weeks before having an “official” kick-off of the campaign next month.

Ducane will work to coordinate organization meetings, volunteer trainings, house parties and “days of action” here in Florida. Organizers insist that they’ll be taking nothing for granted, despite the fact that Mrs. Clinton doesn’t have a single primary opponent at this early stage (though former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is scheduled to make official entry into the race next month).

Meanwhile, supporters of the former first lady and secretary of state are preparing for a major fundraiser next week in Tampa.

They’re hosting a campaign fundraising event next Tuesday at the home of Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank. Other hosts include former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, City Council member Harry Cohen, and Frank’s daughter, attorney Stacy Frank. The minimum contribution for the Clinton fundraiser is $250.

The campaign has been sending out a video featuring Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns.

“Organizing is the heart and soul of this campaign,” says Marshall in the video. “As we speak, things are ramping up in all 50 states and the territories. Face-to-face conversations with your friends and neighbors are how we will win. So we’re doubling down on old-school organizing.”

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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