Harris Campaigns At UNF; VP Democratic Nominee Also Visits Early Voting Site

Oct 19, 2020

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris visited Jacksonville Monday, making a quick stop at an early voting location before heading to a drive-in rally at the University of North Florida, where she talked about the importance of a victory in Florida. 

“Let me tell you something - the voters of Florida, you guys are going to determine the outcome of this election. I’m sure of it,” Harris said at the drive-in rally.

Harris landed at Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport after doing some morning campaigning in Orlando. She immediately went to Highlands Regional Library, which is being used as an early voting location on the city’s Northside. 

While there, she briefly spoke with people who were going in and out of the polling locations, thanking them for voting early. 

“We want to get the word out - vote early, vote early, vote early,” Harris said to a small crowd. 

Shortly after, Harris arrived at the UNF drive-in rally, which was just outside of the Adam W. Herbert University Center. 

Beyond the gates of the rally, there were groups of people showing their support with signs, as well as others who held signs and cheered in support of President Trump’s campaign. 

Before she spoke, several local Democratic leaders, such as State Senate Democratic Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, Congressman Al Lawson, and State Rep. Tracie Davis spoke about the importance of early voting, and what they see as the need to remove the Trump administration from the White House. 

“We have to limit the number of people, we have to be social distanced. You have to wear those masks, all because of a lack of leadership,” Davis said. “Remember that the future vice president visited us here today, but also remember how it had to be done.”

Gibson also said it’s important for her party to talk to people who are not Democrats.

“We want NPAs who want to be part of the family,” Gibson said. “We want Republicans who want to be part of the family, because a family gets together. They care about each other. We don't have a family in the White House now.” 

A heavy rain delayed the speech, but Lawson and Harris then came in to give their remarks. 

“You're going to be included, your health care, the opportunities for jobs, the opportunity to take care of your kids, the opportunity to increase education, all of that is gonna be available to you,” Lawson said. “And I'm gonna tell you that it only takes 15 more days.”

Harris commended Floridians who already have already voted, and used a good portion of her speaking time to attack the Trump administration. 

“Joe Biden has been fighting for working people his entire life,” Harris said. “And on the other hand, you have Donald Trump, who right now with his boy, [William] Barr, is in the United States Supreme Court trying to sue against the Affordable Care Act, and if they are successful, they will get rid of coverage that came to over 20 million people.”

Harris also talked about Florida’s needs, and what she said is the current administration’s failure to address those needs. 

“In Florida right now, one-in-eight Floridians is describing members of their household as being hungry,” Harris said. “We're in the midst of a hunger crisis in America. In Florida right now, one- in-five Floridians is describing themselves being unable to pay their rent in September. But yet this man, Donald Trump, would like you to believe everything is okay.”

After the rally, Harris took part in a virtual fundraiser. 

Harris is scheduled to participate in a campaign stop in Cleveland on Tuesday. 

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has made several stops in Northeast Florida. On October 9, Eric Trump held a campaign rally in Jacksonville at M. Gay Constructors, Inc. on the Northside. 

And in late September, Donald Trump held a rally at Cecil Airport on the Westside, which thousands of people attended. 

Sky Lebron can be reached at slebron@wjct.org, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.