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Joe Biden to keynote Florida Dems Leadership Blue Gala in Fort Lauderdale June 17

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Former Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker for the Florida Democratic Party’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the annual Leadership Blue Gala next month in Fort Lauderdale.

“We are thrilled to announce the former vice president as our keynote speaker. Joe Biden has spent his life in public service and has fought tirelessly for the Democratic belief that all Americans deserve an equal shot in our economy, not just those at the top. We are excited to welcome him back to Florida for our Leadership Blue Gala,” said FDP Chair Stephen Bittel in a news release issued Monday.

On Sunday night, Biden spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire, prompting speculation he is considering a run for president in 2020 (he would be 77).

But Biden promptly attempted to quash such talk, opening his speech with“When I got asked to speak, I knew it was going to cause speculation. Guys, I’m not running.”

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was the keynote speaker at last year’s event. In 2015, the keynote speakers were Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

The event will take place at the Diplomat Hotel Saturday, June 17.

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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