The swing state of Florida remains a prime target for both sides in the approaching presidential election. With hopes of keeping the Sunshine State’s 29 Electoral College delegates in the Democratic column, the White House announced Vice President Joe Biden will be attending a rally in support of President Obama’s re-election on Saturday, September 29, in Fort Myers.
The grassroots event will be held at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Park Recreation Center, located at 16760 Bass Road. The facility is adjacent to Summerlin Road, which serves as the region’s main connector to the plush Gulf shores of Sanibel Island and Fort Myers Beach.
Southwest Florida clearly remains a vital part of the state’s electorate and recent visits from the candidates underscore its importance. Just last week, nearby Sarasota hosted its own grassroots rally for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. An estimated crowd of 5,000 packed the Ringling Museum of Art on September 20 to hear the GOP candidate deliver a vibrant 15 minute speech.
Over the summer, President Obama visited the Harborside Events Center in Fort Myers for the second time of his presidency on July 20, 2012. A planned campaign event was cancelled, however, due to the tragic movie theater shootings in Colorado just hours before Obama’s plane landed. The President instead delivered a brief address at the downtown Fort Myers facility to offer condolences for the fallen.
Democrats hope the tone of Saturday’s visit from the Vice President proves substantially more raucous. Biden previously traveled to Southwest Florida to host an October 2008 campaign rally at Alico Arena on the campus of FGCU in Estero. Tickets have been steadily distributed for several days at Obama For America campaign offices throughout Lee County. Biden is likely to focus his remarks on economic conditions, since the state has experienced substantial challenges with housing and unemployment. Furthermore, the issues of Social Security and Medicare rarely fail to generate a strong response in the home to countless retirees.
Doors at Wa-Ke Hatchee Park will open at 9:30 a.m. and Biden is expected to speak at 11:40 a.m. Parking is limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Though this is a free event, tickets are required for admission and visitors will pass through airport-like security. Attendees are encouraged to bring as little as possible, since numerous items will be restricted from the rally, though cameras will be permitted.
For more information on Joe Biden’s trip to Fort Myers, visit the campaign website at http://fl.barackobama.com. Stay tuned to this column for a recap of the event featuring photos and video.
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