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Clinton: Florida Lagging Due to Republican Policies

Photo: Renata Sago, WMFE.

Photo: Renata Sago, WMFE.

At her first official rally in central Florida since announcing plans to run for president, democrat and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared her vision for Florida’s growing population—one that includes job seekers, ex-offenders, college students, and immigrants.

“Florida is so much a symbol of America—diverse, dynamic, optimistic,” she said in front of hundreds at the Meadow Woods Recreation Center. “You have everything in this state—from big cities to small towns, from high rises, to family farms. And the diversity of the people here in Florida sends such a strong message.”

This made Clinton’s fourth trip to Florida as an official democratic candidate for president. Union organizers rallied on her behalf ahead her of speech, praising her for her policies to increase minimum wage for workers. And more than two dozen Latinos held signs in the air that read, “Estoy Contigo”—“I am with you.”

Alejandra Pacheco brought her 81-year-old mother, originally from Chile, to the rally with her. The long-time democrat says Clinton is one of the most inclusive candidates who sends a consistent message of equality and upward mobility for minorities.

“The representation of the Latino voters in Florida is important to me. We have a huge voice, and we think that Hillary is going to be who speaks for us,” she said.

Clinton focused much of her speech on job creation, access to affordable education, and health care, criticizing Governor Rick Scott for having what she considers the wrong priorities.

“I don’t mean to be a little parochial here,” she said, “But Arkansas expanded Medicaid. Alabama’s Republican governor is talking seriously about expanding Medicaid. The incoming governor of Louisiana is making this a top priority. Just saying, Florida.”

Clinton also mentioned the need for funding to rehabilitate offenders, a topic that few candidates have spoken about in Florida. She is expected to visit the state more as the November election approaches.

“Now, I’m not running for my husband’s third term and I’m not running for Barack Obama’s third term. I’m running for my first term. But we’re going to get to work, and we’re going to build on the progress we’ve made!”

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About Renata Sago

Renata Sago