With only two months left until election day, the candidates are touring the states and sharing their stances with cities throughout America. This past Tuesday, Tampa was that city for Hillary Clinton, the democratic nominee.
Clinton held a rally at USF’s campus, attracting an audience of about 1,500. Many of UT’s own were in attendance, showing support for the nominee.
Luis Suira, a senior political science major and president of College Democrats, drove in the motorcade that met Clinton’s plane and her press. Suira, who plans to one day work in campaign management, played a role in escorting Clinton’s people to the rally.
“It was exciting driving with the police escort and watching the sentry vehicle maneuver behind her limo,” Suira said. “It was a good experience to coordinate with high level press and the secret service.”
During Clinton’s speech, she focused on many domestic issues like jobs, education and taxes. One domestic issue in particular that hit close to home for many locals in the crowd was gun control. Clinton used the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting from the summer to share her gun control stance.
“The Pulse shootings were something that really affected me,” said Michael Womack, a senior advertising/public relations major. “Just her keeping pressure on gun control and mentioning Pulse directly meant a lot to me.”
Womack is no stranger to Clinton’s campaign rallies, or campaigns in general. At the end of last semester, Womack attended Clinton’s rally in Ybor and worked on Barack Obama’s campaign for six months in 2012. He fondly recalls shaking hands with President Obama during the campaign.
“You have a duty as a citizen to be informed,” Womack said. “You could call [my political volunteering] a hobby. It’s your duty as an American to volunteer and get involved. It’s crunch-time.”
Womack described the venue as intimate. Friends of his got turned away at the door for showing up late when the rally hit capacity.
Clinton has chosen many more “intimate” venues along her campaign trail. While this sets a tight limit for attendees, it allows for closeness with the audience.
“It was pretty cool. I actually got to shake her hand,” Womack said. “I was up close and got my selfie. It was a good time.”
Bianca Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org