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Melissa McKinlay set to appear with Kathy Castor at Tampa fundraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Palm Beach Commissioner Melissa McKinlay announced Thursday she will raise money for her congressional campaign in Tampa this weekend — and she’ll be joined by some serious local Democratic brass.

Five-term Tampa U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor will address attendees at the brunch event Saturday morning in support of McKinlay, who is seeking the 18th Congressional District seat left open by incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy‘s decision to run for the Senate in 2016.

Besides Castor, who will keynote the event, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, House Minority Leader state Rep. Janet Cruz, state Rep. Dwight Dudley and former state Rep. Mark Danish are all listed on the event’s host committee.

Tallahassee lobbying corps notables Louis Betz and Ana Cruz –-Democratic operative and daughter of Rep. Cruz — will be on hand as well as will Shannon Love, former leader of the Florida Young Democrats.

The McKinlay for Congress event will kick off at 11:30 a.m. and run until 1 p.m. at the home of Ray and Kay Cruz.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at

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