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Chris King confirmed for St. Pete Chamber’s ‘Popcorn and Politics’

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting Florida Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee Chris King during its “Popcorn and Politics” event Thursday. The program runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Florida Holocaust Museum in downtown St. Pete.

King is scheduled to speak at 6.

The event also features several other local candidates during a casual meet and greet reception.

Incumbent Senate District 24 Republican Jeff Brandes will be there alongside his Democratic challenger, environmental scientist Lindsay Cross. Brandes holds a commanding lead in the most recent polls over Cross and is massively out-raising her. Cross is battling from behind after jumping into the race late in the game following the former candidate, Carrie Pilon, abruptly withdrawing from the race.

House District 69 candidate Jennifer Webb, the Democrat in that race, is also confirmed. Her opponent, attorney Ray Blacklidge, has not confirmed whether he will attend. Webb holds a double-digit lead over Blacklidge, according to a recent poll.

George Buck, the Republican challenging Congressman Charlie Crist for the Congressional District 13 seat, is scheduled to attend.  Buck faces an uphill battle against Crist. The district now favors Democrats after its boundaries were redrawn to include parts of downtown St. Pete.

Due to votes in the U.S. House this week, Crist will not attend the event.

Two Pinellas County Commission candidates are going. Republican Kathleen Peters and her Democratic opponent Amy Kedron both confirmed their attendance. Peters is favored in that race for the mid-Pinellas district that covers some of the beaches and Seminole. Kedron took a hit to her campaign after the Tampa Bay Times reporter she called the police on one of its reporters who was trying to interview her in public space.

The two are running for the late John Morroni’s seat after he passed away earlier this year.

Clearwater Republican Chris Latvala will also attend. Latvala’s challenger, Dawn Douglas, won’t be joining him. Douglas is a teacher at Oak Grove Middle School in Clearwater.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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