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Mark Warner and Tulsi Gabbard to headline Florida Democratic Party Leadership Blue Dinner

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The Florida Democratic Party’s biggest night of the year for fundraising — it’s Leadership Blue Dinner — is scheduled to take place next month in the South Florida city of Hollywood, and the FDP announced today that it will feature Virginia Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as their keynote speakers.

Warner was just re-elected to the Senate last fall, narrowly surviving a challenge from Republican Ed Gillespie. He served as governor of Virginia from 2002-2006, and then moved on and easily defeated former Gov. Jim Gilmore in 2008 for Senate.

As founder and managing director of a venture capital firm, he helped found or was an early investor in a number of technology companies, including Nextel, which has helped him become the wealthiest senator in the country.

Gabbard was first elected to serve Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 and re-elected last fall. Previously, she served two tours of combat duty in Iraq, and serves as the Democratic National Committee’s vice chair. She also happens to be the only Hindu member of Congress.

“It’s my honor to join Florida Democrats in June to get ready for an exciting 2016,” Warner said in a statement. “I look forward to celebrating the values we share, from strong schools to an American economy that empowers innovators and entrepreneurs, providing everyone with a fair shot. Florida Democrats have a great opportunity to win a seat in the U.S. Senate and help deliver the presidency to a Democrat in 2016, and I’m excited to be a part of that effort.”

“I am thrilled to join Florida Democrats at the Leadership Blue Dinner as we kick off the 2016 campaign in the Sunshine State,” said Gabbard. “Every single Floridian — every American — should have the opportunity to go as far as their own hard work can take them. I look forward to sharing the hopes I have for our country with Florida Democrats, and how we can unite our communities to move our nation forward.”
The Leadership Blue Dinner takes place at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday night, June 13.

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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