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Vice Presidential Candidate Senator Tim Kaine Stumps in Fort Myers

Rachel Iacovone


“You guys are a checkmate state,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) told the crowd of several hundred at the Lee Campus of Florida SouthWestern State College Saturday afternoon.

The vice presidential candidate’s visit to Fort Myers came at the tail end of his nine-day-long Florida tour for Sec. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and follows former president Bill Clinton’s stop in adjacent Immokalee the week prior. Clinton spent her Saturday campaigning across the state in Pembroke Pines.

“By ‘checkmate,’ I mean, if we win, it’s over,” Kaine said. “If we win Florida, Hillary will be president.”

Those in attendance at the rally included Fort Myers councilman Johnny Streets Jr.  who spoke before the senator took the stage.

“Make no mistake, this is the most important election of your lifetime,” Streets said. “This is about your future, your children’s future. This isn’t just about Obamacare. It’s about your momma’s care, your brother’s care, your sister’s care, your care.”

To follow, much like his running mate, Kaine spent a great deal of his hour-long speech discussing the importance of education.

“Education is the great lifter and the great leveler,” said Kaine, whose wife, Anne Holton, was the Secretary of Education in Virginia up until Kaine was added to Clinton’s ticket.

Kaine, who said at one point Clinton “doesn’t like to brag about herself,” took the opportunity to put in a good word on her behalf about her decades-long work in the education sphere.

“I’m excited to see what a presidency would be like if somebody brings a lifelong passion on the success of families and kids into the Oval Office,” Kaine said.

Kaine went on to compare the opposing campaigns for the latter half of his time, calling out the differences in their economic and immigration policies.

“We got all sorts of challenges, but we can always solve our challenges as long as we let everybody around the table to solve them,” Kaine said.

In the neck-and-neck race for Florida’s 29 electoral votes, Trump also made his presence known in Tampa Saturday and, much like the Clinton campaign, had events in battleground states North Carolina and Colorado, amongst others.

According to RealClear Politics, Clinton currently leads Trump in Florida by a one percent margin.

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will remain open until 7 p.m.


Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.