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Delegating Denver #12 of 56: Florida

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Florida

Total Number of Delegates: 210* Pledged: 185* Unpledged: 25 *The Democratic National Committee has threatened to reduce these numbers by half if the Florida Democratic Party does not move its caucus date from January 29, 2008, to February 5, 2008, or later.

How to Recognize a Florida Delegate: There are not many Florida natives. Practically all of the state's residents come from somewhere else, mostly from Cuba, Ohio, New York and New Jersey. Oddly enough, everyone quickly becomes the quintessential Floridian. Florida delegates are easy to detect (except for the delegates from Jacksonville, who will inevitably be mistaken for Georgia delegates): Just look for big smiles splashed across cheeks of tan. Generally, Florida delegates look like California delegates with beer bellies, since Floridians spend the bulk of their days riding around on Harleys, in convertibles or on power boats instead of running, playing beach volleyball or Rollerblading. Floridians are unfamiliar with public transportation of any kind, so any delegates seen laughing while riding Denver's light rail or mall shuttle are probably delegates who think they’re on an amusement park ride.

Famous Floridians: Doors frontman Jim Morrison; Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zandt; Sunshine Band keyboardist K.C. Casey; Tom Petty; Pere Ubu singer David Lynn Thomas; Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore; Backstreet Boys A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough; Limp Bizkit boys Fred Durst and Sam Rivers; Mafia boss Santo Trafficante Jr.; and SNL cast member Darrell Hammond

Famous Florida Democrats: Janet Reno

Famous Floridians With Denver Connections: Broncos kicker Jason Elam; Broncos safety Nick Ferguson; choreographer Jennifer Fagan Archer; Spanx fanny-hose inventor Sara Blakely; investigative reporter Jonathan Weil; photo surveyor Shawn Steigner

State Nickname: The Sunshine State (official), the Blue Tarp State (unofficial) Population: 18,089,888 Racial Distribution: 62% white, 16% black, 2% Asian, .5% Native American, 19.5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $30,446 Unemployment: 5.1%

Recommendations for Florida Delegates:

Most Floridian Denver Neighborhood: Windsor

Most Floridian Bar: Tracks 3500 Walnut Street Floridians will feel right at home in Denver's most state-of-the-art nightclub, except that it closes just about the time they’re getting the party started. For a more South Beach experience, there's: Two AM 1144 Broadway

Most Floridian Restaurant: Cuba Cuba 1173 Delaware Street Traditional Cuban dishes prepared in the nuevo cubano cooking style of Miami, served from two historic wooden houses just sur de downtown.

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Best Day Trip: Tiny Town Florida, the flattest state in the union, is 50% water. The rest of the state is predominantly decaying sawgrass and cypress trees on top of which America's largest amusement parks and tourist attractions have been built. Sunshine State delegates will quickly see that Colorado, the highest state in the union, is truly everything that Florida is not. South of town on U.S. 285, the rolling hills of suburbia quickly erupt into hogbacksfilled with dinosaur fossils. Tiny Town is nestled in a small canyonjust about where the foothills turn into the Rocky Mountains. TurkeyCreek Canyon leaves little room to build a real town or tourist attraction, so a miniature version of one disguised as the other has been built. Tiny Town is filled with replicas of Colorado's most famous buildings. The diminutive dwellings vary in size and degrees of craftsmanship and are spread out far enough not to be able to see the difference. Florida delegates who are not in peak hiking condition can still see everything from the seats of a miniature train. And while baking away in the punishing Colorado summer sun, without a glut of tourist-y souvenir shops around, they can fully savor the flavor of a tourist attraction that can't be found in Florida.

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