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Three GOP contenders for governor will converge in unlikely place

The first joint appearance of all three expected Republican candidates for governor is scheduled in an unlikely place: deep blue Broward County.

The Broward County Republican Executive Committee's Facebook page says that Adam Putnam, Ron DeSantis and Richard Corcoran have all accepted invitations to address county GOP activists at the party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on May 18 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel.

The county party chairman is Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, who confirmed in an interview that all three will attend.

The post includes Corcoran as a candidate, even though he has not yet announced his candidacy. The latest expected timetable has the House speaker entering the race in early May, after legislative leaders decide whether or not to hold a special session on gambling.

Broward is one of the keys to Democratic hopes of regaining the Florida Governor's Mansion after a 24-year absence, dating to Lawton Chiles' narrow re-election victory over Jeb Bush in 1994.

It is home to about 581,000 registered Democrats, more than any other county. But it also has a track record of lackluster turnouts in midterm elections.

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