Marco Rubio makes a campaign stop at Houligan's in Palm Coast
Marco Rubio’s message to the Republican faithful in a rare trip to Palm Coast was this: We can’t afford to be “outhustled.”
The U.S. senator and former presidential candidate was at Houligan’s on Thursday, Nov. 3, with U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis to make the case for voting all Republican on the ballot and persuading friends to do the same.
Patrick Juliano organized the event as president of the Flagler County Young Republicans Club. He said the opportunity to have Rubio and DeSantis visit was months in the making, but the final word that it would happen didn’t come until Oct. 31.
“Personally, it was a thrill,” Juliano said after the event. “I have been into politics since I was 8 years old. This was a thrill.”
He said that with Palm Coast’s population having grown so much, it has become a viable campaign stop.
“We absolutely matter in voice and electorate,” he said.
Among those who joined the throng were three women — Fanny C. Herrera, Sharon Demers and Carol Mikola — who sat at a booth at Houligan’s about 15 feet away from Rubio.
Herrera was in attendance because she wanted to meet Rubio, who is one of three Latino Americans serving in the U.S. Senate. “I would like him to become the first Spanish American president of the United States,” she said.
Demers said she votes Republican because “it’s very important to keep our Constitution intact.” She sees the Affordable Care Act as government forcing people to buy something and not in harmony with the Constitution.
It was clear that Demers supports Rubio and DeSantis, but does she support Trump?
“I met Trump in person when I worked for his vitamin company,” she said. “I won a sales contest and had breakfast in Trump Tower.” Although he has made headlines for being brash and rude in this election, she said that when she met him she had a different impression. “He’s a very sincere man and kind,” she said.
Mikola said, “I really admire Marco Rubio, and I'm horrified by a Hillary Clinton presidency. And if she wins, I will expect Marco Rubio to run in four years and win. Which might not be a bad thing because I don't like Trump.”
Still, she said, she did vote for Trump.