Politics | October 25th, 2020

Local MAGA Supporters Rally for Trump Pence Re-Election

By: Mia Uzzell
Local MAGA Supporters Rally for Trump Pence Re-Election

TALLAHASSEE, Fla  — With ten days to spare until the presidential election, Vice President Mike Pence touched down in Tallahassee, Fla. for the Make America Great Again rally Saturday evening. The rally took place at the Tallahassee International Airport and is the fourth stop on the Trump-Pence campaign trail blitz in Florida. The state is a contentious election battleground and Pence’s stop is pivotal to stoking the Republican electorate. 

The doors to the event opened at 4:30 p.m. with plans to start at 7:00 p.m. Even with a steady downpour, local GOP supporters stood in hours-long crowds awaiting Pence. Jesse Smith, a Tallahassee resident, stood in the rain for over three hours awaiting the vice president’s arrival. 

“I’m excited to be out here and support Michael Richard Pence for Vice President. I am happy to be here to show my support for this ticket,” Smith said. Smith, who is one of the nearly 3 million Floridians who have already cast their ballot, said “everything” is on the line come Nov. 3 and that is why he personally endorses the incumbent administration.

 “Our life is on the ballot in this election. It’s Trump versus the radical left,” Smith said. “I’m voting for my values on guns, on abortions, religious liberty and freedom of speech.”

Smith is amongst many conservative voters who gravely fear losing constitutional rights under a progressive administration and label the Democratic challengers as political firebrands. He says this is why the nonstop rain couldn’t dampen his excitement to hear Pence address Tallahassee. 

Vice President Pence addresses a crowd at MAGA rally in Tallahassee.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses a crowd of supporters at the MAGA rally in Tallahassee, Fla. Photo courtesy Journey Magazine | Mia Uzzell

During his opening remarks, Vice President Pence acknowledged the swelling crowd amidst the gloomy weather. “Even in the rain, it’s great to know the panhandle is Trump country,” Pence said. 

In the 2016 presidential election, President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Florida by a slim margin of 1.2%. The former’s avid support from the working class gave him the lead in the state and the panhandle, however, Tallahassee polls revealed an overwhelmingly Democratic share of votes. For the past 29 presidential elections, Tallahassee has voted Democratic in 24 of them.

Congressman Neal Dunn, Florida’s 2nd congressional district representative, preceded Pence’s address to take part in the re-election zeal in the capital city. Bill Schack, a current candidate for Tallahassee City Commissioner, is also one of the many municipal and state candidates who were in attendance. Schack attended because “it is important to see our representatives,” yet his focus this upcoming election is centralizing national issues to the local level.

“I’m running for local office so the local issues are really the ones that are important this election. I think poverty and crime in Tallahassee, affordable housing, mental issues and children’s issues we have to address head on,” Schack said. “There’s a host of things that we need to address. I think the national scene gets a little bit cloudy and muddy, but I think the local scene is what we need to concentrate on and that is what I hope to do.”

Across the nation, voters are heading to precincts in droves. Unprecedented lines and early voting surges have marked early voting patterns in many states and even Florida shattered its opening day record for in-person early voting. MAGA supporters say with a monumental election at stake, they too, will be making their voices and concerns heard at the polls.