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Politics / Issues

Clinton Draws Thousands To Fairgrounds in Tampa

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Daylina Miller/WUSF
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Clinton supporters gather at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton visited Tampa Friday, in the wind up to her party's convention in Philadelphia.

Several thousand people waited in long lines at the Florida State Fairgrounds waiting for the gates to open Friday afternoon. Many were anticipating that Clinton might announce her vice presidential running mate in Tampa, but instead had to check their Twitter accounts to find out.

Just a few hours after the rally, Clinton tweeted that Virginia Senator Tim Kaine would be the Democratic vice presidential choice. Kaine emerged as the leading contender, though Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was also under consideration.

Some voters at Friday's rally said this week's Republican National Convention inspired them to attend Clinton's rally in Tampa. That includes Mark Martell and his wife, who drove from Northport to the rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

He says he and his wife were so turned off by the convention's negative tone, they also changed their party affiliation.

“I didn’t hear one single positive thing to come out of it and yesterday we went and put in our paperwork to switch from Republican to Democrat,” Martell said.

Martell says he's most interested in hearing what Clinton has to say about women's issues and the economy.

Eve Barbour drove from Orlando to show her support for Clinton.

“Well I think it's a necessity to be here today especially,” Barbour said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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