Tampa Bay-area constituents of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., won’t have much luck going to the senator’s regional office after Friday.
He’s been evicted by his landlord.
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Jude Williams, the president of America’s Capital Partners and the owner of the nine-story building in Tampa in which Rubio has leased space, notified Rubio’s office that it must leave, due to protests that are disrupting the other businesses in the building as well as causing a costly security problem.
“A professional office building is not a place for that,” Williams said. “I understand their cause, but at the end of the day it was a security concern for us.”
Williams said some of the building’s 21 tenants have complained that demonstrations have blocked entrance-ways and have workers fearing for their safety.
“It’s not political,” he added. “It’s for no other reason than good office management. Our duty is to keep a good peaceful office building environment for our tenants and that’s not what they bargained for.”
Rubio’s lease actually expired at the end of 2016, but the office had been staying on under a month-by-month arrangement that Williams has terminated effective Friday.
“We are actively looking for new office space, and our goal is to remain accessible and continue providing prompt and efficient service to all Floridians,” said Rubio spokeswoman, Christina Mandreucci.
Rubio has regional offices in Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tallahassee and Palm Beach.
Indivisible Tampa co-founder Michael Broache, whose group has led the demonstrations outside Rubio’s office, said they never meant to get him booted from the current location.
“Our intention is to make sure the senator hears our voices and acknowledges the concerns of his constituents,” said Broache. “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.”
Rubio has said that organized protests have, in effect, ruined town hall events.
“They are not town halls anymore,” he said. “What these groups really want is for me to schedule a public forum; they then organize three-, four-, five-, six-hundred liberal activists in the two counties or wherever I am in the state.”
“They spread themselves out. They ask questions. They all cheer when questions are asked. They are instructed to boo no matter what answer I give,” he added. “They are instructed to interrupt me if I go too long and start chanting things. Then, at the end, they are also told not to give up their microphone when they ask questions.”
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