Hillary Clinton spent her 69th birthday on the campaign trail in Florida, attending rallies in both Lake Worth and Tampa. Early voting began on Monday in the state, causing both major party nominees to return to encourage supporters to show up to the polls.
The rally included guest appearances from Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett. All speakers emphasized the necessity of early voting and the weight the swing state holds in the general election.
Supporters let out a cheer as Hillary Clinton took the stage to speak at her rally at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa on Wednesday. By Breanne Williams
Congresswoman Kathy Castor spoke prior to Clinton taking the stage encouraging attendees to vote early at one of the many polling locations in the area, which she reminded voters are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Nov. 5. “Everyday is Election Day here in Hillsborough County,” Castor said. By Breanne Williams
Secret Service agents lined the Tampa Museum of Art and other surrounding buildings in preparation for Clinton’s arrival at the rally. By Breanne Williams
“We’ve actually learned in this campaign that Donald Trump is the poster boy for everything wrong with our economy,” Clinton said. She then detailed her plans to boost the nation’s and Tampa’s economy, including promising to give the high-speed rail rejected by Rick Scott in 2011 another look. By Breanne Williams
Many supporters brought signs and flowers for Clinton as the rally was held on her 69th birthday. The crowd sang happy birthday to the nominee both before the rally began and after its conclusion when she shook hands with many in attendance. By Breanne Williams
Secret Service lined the barricades separating the public from Clinton, where thousands attended to celebrate the nominee’s 69th birthday and hear her plans for boosting the economy, making college affordable and continuing the fight for women’s rights. By Breanne Williams
Sarah Gaines, an organizer often found on the USF campus, signed up volunteers both prior and following the rally. Both the organizers and Castor encouraged attendees to remain active in the last stretch of the election by knocking on doors and making calls for the Clinton campaign. By Breanne Williams
Protesters who were both pro-Trump and third party camped outside the entrance. Thomas Ciotola, a Gary Johnson supporter, protested the Tampa rallies this week for both major party candidates. “I don’t think there’s anyway to choose between the two,” Ciotola said. “That’s like asking, ‘Who’s better? Hitler or Stalin?’” By Breanne Williams