Rally attracts students, faculty and members from the community

Hannah Lee

A crowd rallied for a blue change Monday afternoon at UNF. Close to 400 people attended the Florida Democratic rally in the Field House to promote a blue ticket this year for the ballot.

Mayor Andrew Gillum, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, and Vice President Joe Biden headlined the rally and gave students and Jacksonville citizens a surge of confidence in their vote.

Doors opened at 2:15 p.m., however the line of people trailing around the Arena started around 1 p.m.

Lili Weinstein
The line for the rally wrapped around the arena.

30 minutes after the scheduled time, local community democrats spoke to the crowd. Mia Jones, candidate for Duval Tax Collector, Tracye Polson, candidate for state representative, Donna Deegan, a former local news anchor, and Audrey Gibson, Jacksonville Senate minority leader, all spoke about how Gillum would be the best thing for Florida.

“As we get ready to countdown these next 15 days, we don’t have time to sleep right now,” Jones said. “We don’t have time to eat right now. All we have time to do is to vote, vote, vote.”

Nancy Soderberg, a UNF adjunct-professor and candidate for Florida’s 6th District and Nikki Fried, candidate for commissioner of agriculture, also spoke to students.

Lili Weinstein
Nancy Soderberg

“When we vote this year we are going to have our first African-American governor, we are going to have our first African-American attorney general, we are going to have our first female agriculture commissioner,” Fried said.

Austin Belet, the president of UNF College Democrats introduced Chris King, Gillum’s running mate. King encouraged people to not only vote Gillum and Nelson but for all the democrats that spoke at the rally.

After King, Nelson then Gillum got on the stage. While Nelson primarily focused on the environment, Gillum on a variety of issues regarding gun control, healthcare and education.

“When a parent drops their child off at school, they shouldn’t have to worry about if when they pick their child up he will be alive or in a body bag,” Gillum said. “Enough is enough is enough.”

Lili Weinstein
Andrew Gillum

Gillum also stated that 44 percent of people in Florida cannot make ends meet.

The last person to show was former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden appeared not only to sponsor Nelson and Gillum, but also to uplift Democrats spirits.

“Pick your heads up,” Biden told event-goers. “Take this county back. Take it back now.”

Lili Weinstein
Vice President Joe Biden

Early voting started Monday as well. At the end of the day, the Early Voting site on campus received 88 votes.

Early voting ends Nov. 4 and the general election will be on Nov. 6

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