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Jeb Bush to headline Hillsborough County Lincoln Day dinner June 19

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Jeb Bush will headline the Hillsborough County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner on Friday night, June 19. The event will take place at the Pepin Hospitality Center, long a traditional spot for the Hillsborough GOP for major events.

Hillsborough Republican Executive Committee Chairwoman Deborah Tamargo said she was prepared to issue a press release early next week, but word started getting out earlier today. She says the former Florida governor’s appearance won’t be the only GOP presidential aspirant to visit the county this year.

“We are very excited to have all of the candidates come through Hillsborough County and we expect them all,” she said Thursday night. “And we’ve heard from a number of them and talked to them, and so we’re going to have an exciting summer and fall, for sure.”

Bush is technically not a candidate at the moment, still running an “exploratory” campaign that is all but official. He appeared with approximately 20 other Republicans at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit last weekend in New Hampshire, and was on the West Coast earlier this week conducting fundraisers. He has been leading or in the top tier of all candidates in early national polls.

The Pepin Center holds approximately 500 people, and Tamargo says the event will probably be sold out immediately. She says she intends to a hold a Reagan Day Barbecue later this summer that will probably be more accessible to the general public.

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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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