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Obama to address economy at St. Petersburg appearance

ST. PETERSBURG — Sen. Barack Obama will hold a town hall-style meeting on the economy Friday at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg.

The visit to Pinellas County comes as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is ramping up what could be the largest voter mobilization campaign Florida has seen from a Democrat, including opening a sprawling campaign office in St. Petersburg on Wednesday and in Clearwater on Tuesday.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Friday for the event at Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S. Admission is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

Tickets will be available first-come, first-served from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the St. Petersburg campaign office, 2321 Central Ave. Adults will be allotted a maximum of two tickets each and children younger than 16 will be allotted one.

At the overheated new office opening Wednesday, Obama volunteer Gena Keebler of St. Petersburg told 100 people, "We need each and every one of you to join the campaign for change."

She said the Obama campaign has deployed a dozen campaign staffers to help 400 volunteers already active in Pinellas.

Obama's St. Petersburg event, the campaign said, will focus on his priorities for economic relief for Americans, including his support for a national catastrophic insurance fund and an additional round of rebate checks to help jump-start the economy.

Republican John McCain will be in Florida on Friday as well, addressing the National Urban League in Orlando and campaigning in Panama City.

The McCain campaign on Wednesday brushed off Obama's efforts in the bay area.

"Sen. McCain has strong support in an area that is dominated by Republicans. When bay area voters go to the polls on Election Day, one of the primary reasons they will choose Sen. McCain is because he is committed to break our nation's dependence of foreign sources of energy,'' campaign spokesman Mario Diaz said. "Sen. Obama has shown that he is 'Dr. No' when it comes to new energy proposals."

Obama to address economy at St. Petersburg appearance 07/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 1, 2008 8:51pm]
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