Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida was forced to close a second district office in two weeks due to “unruly behavior” from constant protesters seeking to meet with Rubio, according to a Monday report from the Tampa Bay Times.
The protesters stormed Rubio’s district offices, in a well-planned photo-op in February, in which hundreds of handwritten letters were dropped off at offices statewide. The protesting groups demanded Rubio meet with them at his office, and now that his offices are closed, thousands of other constituents no longer have regular access to Rubio staffers.
“In Jacksonville, these protestors weren’t just impacting our two person office, they were impacting the children being served next door at a pediatric behavioral clinic, which is why we understand the decision not to renew our lease,” Rubio spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci said in a statement.
“Our Tampa and Jacksonville offices are not political or campaign offices. They are small, two person offices that help Floridians in the region with issues such as Medicare, Social Security and veterans benefits,” Mandreucci told the Times.
Rubio’s staff will still reach out to constituents despite not having an office, according to the statement.
“Those who disagree with President Trump and Senator Rubio certainly have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights, and most of them have done so in a productive and respectful way,” Mandreucci stated. “But unfortunately, some of them have chosen to do so in a manner that potentially hinders their fellow Floridians’ ability to receive help from our office.”
The office in Tampa was officially shut down by the landlord last week, citing “disruptive” rallies that are harming local businesses.
“Our intention is to make sure the senator hears our voices and acknowledges the concerns of his constituents,” said a local protester. “Unfortunately, we’ve requested town halls and he’s indicated he’s unwilling to do that at this point, so that’s why we’ve been present.”
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