The new Get Out the Vote Center (GOTV) in the heart of Wilton Manors held its grand opening and welcomed a VIP candidate to kick off the final push to election day.
Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10 Orlando) is running to oust incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio, and brought her campaign to the party.
Despite being a gloomy, rainy day on The Drive, people stood outside and gave a rock star welcome to Demings as she stepped off her bus. Inside she waded through the crowd who look at her as one of Florida Democrats’ best chances to break Republicans’ near-lock on winning statewide races.
Once she got to the microphone Demings made the political event feel like Sunday morning church.
“I came today to tell you something you already know so let me just reinforce it,” she told the crowd. “When we show up ... we win!” That was her mantra throughout her nine-minute speech.
Demings is a former police chief in Orlando, and cheers of “Chief! Chief! Chief!” rose from the crowd several times.
“This is a critical time and a critical moment in our nation. It matters. This election season matters.”
The goal of her speech was to fire up the “true believers” of the party and motivate them to get out the vote.
She stressed that LGBT community issues will be a top priority if she wins.
“To make sure we hold America to its promise. To make sure every man, woman, boy, every girl, every person regardless of who they are, the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they may have, their sexual orientation, their sexual identity, or religion, will have an opportunity to succeed and live up to their full potential. That’s the America we were created to be and that’s the America we will be.”
The GOTV Center is a place for candidates to come and directly speak to LGBT voters, and more VIP candidates are expected to visit leading up to election day. People can also go and pick up campaign materials.
The GOTV Center is located at 2348 Wilton Drive, and is open 2 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays and noon until 7 p.m. Sundays through election day.