Vice President Mike Pence rallies in Tampa Bay, pushing for re-election

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Vice President Mike Pence was in Tampa on Thursday, hitting the campaign trail in the crucial I-4 corridor of Florida.

Pence held a “Keep America Great” rally in New Tampa at the Venetian Event Center Thursday afternoon. The main event is being held later when Pence and his wife Karen will hold a “Latinos for Trump” rally. That’s scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at Nación de Fe, a non-denominational church in Kissimmee.

Pence’s visit comes amid a tumultuous week for President Donald Trump. Formal proceedings of his impeachment trial began Thursday afternoon, with the trial itself starting next Tuesday.

Pence will attempt to curry favor with the Latino community Thursday evening, and particularly Puerto Ricans. Kissimmee is in Osceola County, home to the largest concentration of Puerto Ricans in the Sunshine State.

It will be an uphill battle. Many islanders who have relocated to Florida were disappointed with the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria and the president’s rhetoric about Hispanic people at large.

But Pence will likely focus on the economy, a strong point for the administration. Unemployment in the Latino community is at historic lows.

Pence took the podium in New Tampa right in the middle of the two main ceremonial procedures that started the Senate impeachment trial. The House impeachment managers formally read the two articles of impeachment against the president at noon.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts was sworn in later, at 2 p.m., and then swore in senators as jurors for the trial.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the impeachment trial will begin in earnest next Tuesday.

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