Mitch Perry Report 3.28.13 - Charlie Crist to announce his candidacy for governor in Tampa on May 11?

After weeks of preparation, Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee chair Mark Hanisee sent out the announcement last night that Charlie Crist will be the featured speaker at an incredibly rare Hillsborough/Pinellas joint Kennedy-King dinner at the Tampa Convention Center on Saturday night, May 11.

If you're thinking this could be the night the former Republican governor announces he will be running to become Florida's next governor as a Democrat, I would tend to agree with that thought.

Conventional wisdom has it that both Crist and Alex Sink will make some announcement about their potential 2014 candidacies by this summer, and frankly, why would Crist make such a big splash in front of all of these local Democrats for any other reason than to declare he's running for governor? Crist became a Democrat for a reason last December, and the Florida (and even national) political media has been waiting with bated breath ever since for his expected announcement. May 11 seems as real a date as any when he will make such a declaration.

Speaking of Alex Sink, the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee was at the head table at the Greater Tampa Bay area Chamber of Commerce luncheon featuring Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn yesterday. The mayor was asked if he has any plans to run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014 and joked ""It depends upon what Alex does." Actually Buckhorn said there's no way he's thinking of running for the big job next year, but did say 2018 is a possibility, but only if he keeps performing well in his current job.

The arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriage are now over - but the push around the country for marriage equality continues. On Tuesday CL covered an event with over 200 participants advocating for the rights for gays and lesbians to marry in downtown Tampa.

And Pinellas county Senator Jack Latvala tells CL's Arielle Stevenson why he's pushing legislation for a beer container that's more than 32 ounces and less than a gallon.

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