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Obama campaign opens first South Florida office

The Barack Obama campaign has officially put down roots in South Florida, opening its first South Florida campaign office Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.

The campaign office is the campaign's third in the state and the first of several planned for South Florida.

And even without the Obama campaign, the one-room office at 733 NW Sistrunk Blvd. already has plenty of political connections. State Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, occupies the office next door and the entire building was renovated by state Senate candidate and former state Rep. Chris Smith.

Both politicians came to Thursday's opening along with Broward Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Ceasar, Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner and Broward County Commission candidate Carlton Moore and former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner and Fort Lauderdale mayoral candidate Dean Trantalis.

Smith said it was symbolic that the first Obama campaign office in South Florida opened on Sistrunk, in the heart of the city's black community and one that has worked to reinvent itself in recent years.

"Obama's opening his office where the people are," Smith said. "For years, the African American segment of the party has felt left out on the front end of campaigns, and for the party to open its first office on Sistrunk is a sign that this community will matter in this election."