With just days until the general election, it’s the final push for candidates, including Republican Marco Rubio, who is battling Democrat Patrick Murphy for his Senate seat.
- Sen. Marco Rubio visited campaign offices in Central Florida Tuesday
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“Thank you for what you’ve done, and thank you for what you’re going to do," said the senator in Lakeland, to a room full of volunteers. Rubio arrived to the local GOP headquarters around noon Tuesday.
"It's not the TV commercials, it's not the debates. What ultimately decides elections in a place like Florida is who does a better job of getting their people to vote. You know how that happens? The calls and signs and door knocks that you are doing on a daily basis," he said.
In a room adjacent to where Rubio met with supporters, volunteers placed calls at laptops, the room buzzing.
Isabella Garcia, who came with her grandmother and a friend, spent her first day of volunteering making calls.
“At first it’s nerve-wracking, but then it’s fine," said the 14-year-old middle schooler with a smile. “I’m calling people and asking if they received their ballot to mail in. I think it’s fun, just knowing that I’m helping.”
“We’re always grateful for all the work people are doing. At this stage in the campaign, it’s about getting everybody out to vote," said Rubio, speaking with reporters after the event.
At another field office, along Semoran Boulevard in Orlando, volunteer Nathan Haddad leaned over his phone, a set of white headphones stuck in his ears.
“We’re just calling to see if you and your wife have already voted," he said, leaning over a laptop.
Haddad said volunteers in Orlando have the same focus: getting back absentee ballots, and encouraging early voting.
“We’re all just working hard, putting it into overdrive this last week," said Haddad. “Until the final polls close on Nov. 8, we need to make sure we get out there and everyone’s voice is heard.”
The high school senior said the hundreds of hours he’s put in making the phone calls is worth it.
“Whatever it takes," he said. “When you believe in a cause, it’s easy to devote your time to it.”
Around 12,000 Republican absentee ballots still need to be turned in in Polk County, according to the Supervisor of Elections.
Orange County Supervisor of Elections confirmed that they mailed out 64,411 ballots, and are waiting for the return of 26,123 ballots.
Following his stop in Lake County, Rubio headed to Manatee County to meet with supporters.
The Senator will be in Miami on election night, watching results roll in.
Murphy, meanwhile, was in Daytona Beach Tuesday, where Bethune-Cookman University students marched to an early voting location.