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Mike Bloomberg becomes first Democratic presidential candidate to open a Tampa Bay office

Bloomberg is also spending heavily in the Tampa Bay media market.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg opened his St. Petersburg campaign office Wednesday, becoming the first Democratic Presidential candidate to open an office in the Tampa Bay Area.

It’s the second Florida field office opening this week.

“This is just another example of Mike Bloomberg’s commitment to investing in the campaign infrastructure we need to defeat Donald Trump,” former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.

Buckhorn endorsed Bloomberg along with a trove of other Florida Mayors Tuesday and was on hand for Wednesday’s opening reception.

Dozens of Bloomberg supporters showed up to hear Buckhorn and Bloomberg Senior Adviser Tim O’Brien speak. The St. Pete Office opening comes after an Orlando office opened Monday.

On Saturday, the campaign will open its office in Little Havana, with a plan to open nearly 20 in the next couple of weeks.

“People are energized by the message Mike is bringing to Florida,” said Scott Kosanovich, Florida State Director for Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign. “We are going to continue to talk to voters about Mike’s plan to expand access to health [care,] address gun violence and take much needed action to protect our coasts.”

Earlier Wednesday the campaign announced a weekend of action this weekend. More than 500 volunteers are scheduled to attend 50 organizing events.

While other candidates have been spending the week in Iowa and New Hampshire drumming up support ahead of key elections in those states, Bloomberg has been targeting states like Florida where more delegates are available to secure the Democratic nomination.

A recent St. Pete Polls survey put Bloomberg in second place in the state behind only Joe Biden, positioning Bloomberg well for the state’s March 17 primary.

He’s also been spending heavily on advertising in Florida. In about six weeks time, the Bloomberg campaign has aired more than 10,000 commercials on Florida television stations, backed by more than $11 million in spending.

Bloomberg’s No. 1 priority is to defeat Trump in November. He’s vowed to spend as much of his personal fortune as necessary to make it happen. Bloomberg plans to retain his staff to work in support of the Democratic nominee, even if that’s not him.

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 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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