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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Presidential contenders ramping up ground game from Tampa Bay headquarters



With two weeks to go before Florida’s primary, the presidential campaigns are mobilizing for a final push in the Sunshine State, and there’s plenty going on in the Tampa Bay area.

On the Republican side, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign has an office in Tampa and will host a call party today from 5 to 9 p.m. The office is located at 11406 N. Dale Mabry, Suite 201.

“Bring your laptops, your smartphones, and your headphones or a headset and we will try to reach as many Florida voters as possible for Ted Cruz!” Lyndsey Blagrave, a communications staffer for the campaign, said in an email sent to supporters Saturday. If taking part in a historically unpredictable presidential race isn't incentive enough, volunteers will be treated to free pizza for their efforts.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump opened a Tampa headquarters last week in CoWorkTampa, an office coworking space in the historic Garcia & Vega cigar factory at 3104 N. Armenia Ave.

They’ve already started a phone bank there that is running Tuesdays and Thursdays, said Becky DeBoer, a co-chair for Trump’s campaign in Hillsborough.

“It has been an every day job just to keep up with the amount of people that are calling and volunteering,” DeBoer said. “I’ve been in Hillsborough a long time and there are Republicans volunteering that I’ve never met before. They’re enthused and they’re willing to work.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has opened a campaign office at 1602 Oakfield Drive, Suite 109, in Brandon. A grand opening is set for 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is trailing way the other candidates, does not list a Florida office on his campaign web site. Nor does surgeon Ben Carson, the fourth candidate still in the race. 

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s camp will officially open its Tampa organizing office Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The office is on the bottom floor of the Cuban Club, 2010 N Avenida Republica De Cuba in Ybor City. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is scheduled to attend. 

Tampa Bay for Bernie Sanders, which calls itself “the West Coast of Florida’s largest support and coordinating organization for the Bernie 2016 campaign,” has opened its headquarters at 900 Central Ave, Unit 25 in St. Petersburg.

The group will run phone banks every day through Florida’s primary on March 15, according to its website.

[Last modified: Monday, February 29, 2016 7:24pm]


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