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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Who will speak for Hillsborough Dems?



Hillsborough County Democrats have scheduled their Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner for Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel on Kennedy Boulevard. With 10 days to go, planners still don't have a featured speaker. Event chair Betty Sarlin said she's working with the Obama campaign on getting someone with a national profile.

"Is this crazy? We're having this big fandango and don't have a speaker until the last minute." Sarlin said. "The Obama campaign has a national committee that they send out to speak at these events. What happens is, the one's that the closest to Florida, or in the state of Florida, is the one that will be sent up here. We're hoping it's going to be Biden."

Last year, Hillsborough County Dems reinstated the fundraising dinner after a years-long hiatus. State party chairwoman Karen Thurman was the featured speaker.

"We won't end up with no one because we have several hitters right here in town. We have Kathy Castor, we have Frank Sanchez. We have other people who can get up and speak for us," Sarlin said.

What Sarlin does know, is that the dinner will feature a six-piece blues band. Tickets are $75, and $350 includes access to a VIP event. For tickets, call Sarlin at (813) 642-8986, e-mail her at or go to to buy tickets on-line.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:35am]


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