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Kamala Harris repeats Orlando message in Jacksonville rain

Harris’ message is one that contrasts Biden and Trump.

The Democratic Vice Presidential nominee closed out her Florida doubleheader with an afternoon show up at a public university in Jacksonville.

The Northeast Florida speech covered similar ground as remarks a few hours prior in Orlando, indication that the closing argument pitch from the candidate is limited to just a few topics.

Senator Kamala Harris participated in what was billed a “voter mobilization event” at the University of North Florida in Duval County, pivotal if Democrats hope to flip the state toward presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The outdoor drive-in event was not without climate challenges, with a persistent rain falling.

Duval County went narrowly for Donald Trump in 2016, but Democrats have reason for optimism, with their party’s statewide candidates winning the county outright in 2018, a boost provided by the energetic Andrew Gillum on the ticket.

Harris, fresh off a visit to Orlando in which she offered an economical speech with familiar material, stuck to the script in Jacksonville also.

Harris said Florida would decide the election, urging people to vote early, “because you will very likely determine the outcome of this election.”

As she did in Orlando, she said there was so much at stake in the election, contrasting the “two choices” between Trump and Biden and the “distinct difference” between them.

Also like Orlando, Harris referred to Attorney General Bill Barr as Donald Trump‘s “boy,” in an attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

Harris also recycled a well-practiced riff about Trump having been “informed” about the pandemic, but chose to “not tell the American people what he knew.”

“Joe Biden stands for the people. With the people,” Harris said, though for the moment Biden stands somewhat alone.

The Senator is the highest-profile member of the ticket on the road until Thursday, with Biden having taken a hiatus until the debate Thursday.

Harris closed with lines about the power of the vote, talking about the historical struggle for suffrage as she urged people to get back in their cars.

“All these powerful people trying to put roadblocks in … you have to sit back and ask why all these powerful people are trying to make it more difficult for us to vote?”

A lot of reasons, as Harris said.

“We know what’s at stake and we have our power.”

The Senator was preceded by local supporters who offered words of assurance for the Democratic ticket and condemnation for its Republican counterparts.

Rep. Al Lawson said he knew Harris, and knew she and Biden “would get things done.”

“One of the greatest VP’s we’ll ever know,” Lawson enthused about Harris. “She’s going to make America great again, as they say.”

Lawson stuck to populist themes, including saying that fifteen days from now, “America’s going to change for the benefit of you and not the benefit of Wall Street.”

Harris isn’t the only VP candidate in Jacksonville this week. Republican incumbent Mike Pence will be in town Saturday, with details to be announced on that visit in the coming days.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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