GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - Florida Senator Marco Rubio visited Marshall County on Tuesday, where he spoke to a large crowd at the Guntersville Recreation Center.
Sen. Rubio spoke on several issues and topics, including the the importance of strengthening interest in trade schools, rebuilding the American military and caring for veterans. He also talked about his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which drew loud applause from the crowd.
Stepping toward a milestone
Earlier in the day, Wade Jones and Johnathan Anderson sat inside the Guntersville High School media center, working on homework. The two young men are seniors.
Along with dozens of their peers, they planned to hear Florida Senator Marco Rubio speak Tuesday at the campaign rally. "I think we're all excited to hear that Marco Rubio was here, a Presidential candidate in our small town," Jones says.
For those two any many others in their graduating class, hearing Rubio speak and learning his views is a step toward a milestone.
"We'll all be voting for the first time this year," Anderson says, "It's good for us to get involved and see what everyone has to offer."
"Every vote counts," Jones says, "I would like to hear from Marco Rubio and see what his views are."
Rubio will also hold two private fundraisers in Alabama at a later date.
Alabama's primary election is on March 1. Several other presidential candidates have visited Alabama already, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is visiting Montgomery today to mark the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. She has visited Alabama a handful of times already.
Preparing for the event
Multiple law enforcement agencies from several counties worked security at the event, and the planning and preparation is not an easy task.
Around 11 o'clock Tuesday morning the Guntersville Rec Center was bustling as crews worked to get it ready for Rubio's presidential campaign stop.
Through that process Guntersville Police made sure safety and security details went according to plan. "We have three agencies in the county, city agencies that are helping with the event, plus Huntsville PD was gracious enough to loan some specialty officers out to us," Police Chief Jim Peterson says.
The planning process took about three weeks. "These types of events are usually handled by the secret service, and that not being the case here at least at this time for this candidate, that falls solely on the shoulders of the local agencies," Chief Peterson says.
Guntersville Police plans and trains for different events, so while preparing for a GOP Presidential candidate's visit is a detailed task, that preparation helps things to run smoothly. "I'm very blessed to have officers that are very malleable," Peterson says, "They can adapt to a lot of different situations."