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HD 9 candidate Loranne Ausley plans Tampa fundraiser

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, former CFO Alex Sink, and others are throwing a fundraiser in Tampa for fellow Democrat Loranne Ausley, who’s seeking a Tallahassee-area Florida House seat.

Former state Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw, who worked for Sink, on Thursday tweeted a photo of the invite to the event, to be held next Tuesday at Big Ray’s Fish Camp.

The 52-year-old Ausley, a lawyer, seeks to retake the reliably Democratic district she held in 2000-08 now that current Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda is term-limited.

Other hosts at the Tampa fundraiser include the former state senator, education commissioner and USF President Betty Castor, and Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez.

Ausley faces Democrats Arnitta Grice-Walker, an elementary school teacher, and Joshua Johnson in the primary. The winner there faces Republican lawyer Jim Messer in the general election.

The district includes part of Leon County “where a third of employees work in the public sector,” according to LobbyTools, and is “noticeably whiter, older and more affluent than the majority-minority District 8 to the west.”

Comparing the cash-on-hand amounts, Ausley leads with $172,000, followed by Messer with almost $76,000.

Johnson, a political unknown, has posted no campaign money, and Grice-Walker’s campaign account is $558 in debt, state records show.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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