Mike Pence’s Tampa Bay visit moved to new venue

Mike Pence
Event moved after Valencia Lakes POA board expressed reluctance

The reelection campaign for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence has changed the location of the Vice President’s rally in the Tampa area Jan. 16.

The change is from the Valencia Lakes retirement community in Wimauma to the Venetian Events Center in Tampa. The time of the Keep America Great rally remains 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16.

The change of venue came after complaints from Valencia Lakes residents and apparent reluctance by the property owners association board about hosting the rally.

After the Valencia Lakes visit was announced, the community’s board sent a memo to residents explaining that Pence’s visit to the private, gated, retirement community was not the board’s idea. A resident had invited the Trump campaign, which then called requesting use the clubhouse. After conferring with legal counsel, the board concluded that it had no choice but agree to it.

Some residents in the community openly opposed the visit, noting, among other things, that many attendees would be bused in.

According to a second memo sent by the board to residents late Tuesday, excerpts of which were sent to Florida Politics, the board’s leadership on Tuesday “had a cordial telephone conversation with a representative from the Pence team. Upon learning about our concerns and conflicting obligations, the Pence Team decided that they would change their venue for their event.

“They expressed their appreciation for our efforts on their behalf and complimented our beautiful community,” the notice continues.

“They will be making a public announcement simply saying they decided on a different location. They thanked us for our candor. They also agreed to release VLPOA from all legal, contractual and financial obligations,” the memo states.

Pence’s second Jan. 16 rally remains unchanged. At 6 p.m. that date, he is scheduled to appear at the Nación de Fe in Kissimmee.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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