Crowds gather for 11 a.m. Hillary Clinton rally at Palm Beach State

 

Bruce Bennett/The Palm Beach Post

Bruce Bennett/The Palm Beach Post

LAKE WORTH — More than an hour before Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was set to speak at 11 a.m., crowds were filling in the floor of the gymnasium at Palm Beach State College, west of Lake Worth.

They lined a barrier in front of the podium where Clinton will speak, while others filled bleachers behind the rostrum and beneath a stored-away basketball hoop assembly.

Before doors opened at 9 a.m., lines wound around the sprawling campus. Youngsters, millennials, retirees and people in wheelchairs stood, wearing signs and buttons with the candidate’s “H” icon or signs saying “Love trumps hate,” a dig at GOP challenger, and part-time Palm Beacher, Donald Trump.

Patricia Ortiz-Guittierez of Delray Beach, an immigrant from Colombia, stood with his nephew, MIchael Ortiz of Coconut Creek in Broward County, who was voting for the first time — and already had, by mail,

“America is a country that welcomes everybody,” she said, taking a shot at Trump’s immigration stances. She’s a citizen, and already has voted as well.

For the last few days, Trump and Clinton have been criss-crossing the state, a critical battleground in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

On Tuesday, as Clinton worked a crowd in Broward County, Florida GOP chair and State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia was hammering her on reports that premiums for the Affordable Care Act are shooting up.

“On the heels of Obamacare premiums increasing at an average of 25%, Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Sunshine State will be a stark reminder of how big government policies like Obamacare will continue stifling our economy, restricting small business expansion and killing jobs,” he said.

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