Trump campaign to open field office near Pulse nightclub

- The Donald Trump campaign will open a field office in the 2000 block of South Orange Avenue on Tuesday, according to the campaign chairperson for Orange County. The office is about half a block away from the Pulse nightclub and the memorial for the 49 people who were shot and killed there on June 12.

For some who visited on Monday, the campaign office is just too close to a place of mourning. “I think that it takes the attention away from what you see here,” said Westley Thomas, tourist from Philadelphia.

The office is located about half a block away on the other side of the street.  It’s far enough for Billy Scott of Orlando who said,  “As long as they keep that over there and it doesn’t get in the way of people coming here to pay their respects and trampling on what this is, I’ve got no issues.”

Pulse was important to the gay community.  Many of the people who were killed were Hispanic. The owner of the nightclub was among protestors who picketed a speech given by Trump last week in Orlando to a gathering of Evangelical pastors. Equality Florida, which advocates for LGBT rights, called the event an “anti-LGBT rally.”         

Despite the sign in the yet-to-be opened campaign office window that reads “Hispanos con Trump,” the Republican nominee polls poorly with Hispanics due, in part, to his positions on illegal immigration. “Mr. Trump doesn’t hate gay people.  The Republican Party doesn’t hate gay people,” said Randy Ross, Orange County chairperson for the Trump campaign.

Ross said the campaign will work harder to earn the votes of LGBT and Hispanic communities, but the fact that Trump volunteers will work across the street from Pulse isn’t meant to be strategic or provocative. “We took advantage of the folks donating the space and it was never intended, never intended to be an attack on anybody at all,” Ross said. 

Ross said the campaign will also open a field office in Winter Park this week.  There are plans to open another one in Apopka.  

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