Politics

Rubio Needs new Tampa Office as Rallies Grow

'A professional office building is not a place for that,' said building owner

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was notified by a building owner that it will not renew the lease on his Tampa office because of security concerns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is looking for a new office in Tampa after the building’s owner said it won’t renew the lease because of  frequent demonstrations outside.

The owner of the office building notified Rubio’s office on Feb. 1 and said the rallies have become too disruptive for other tenants and added a costly security expense for the company, the ownership group’s president told the Tampa Bay Times.

“A professional office building is not a place for that,” Jude Williams said. “I understand their cause, but at the end of the day, it was a security concern for us.”

Rubio spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci said that while they are actively looking for new office space, their goal is to “remain accessible and continue providing prompt and efficient service to all Floridians.”

Rubio’s staff needs to leave by Friday, and hasn’t yet lined up a new location. Recent negotiations with another building didn’t work out.

The senator’s goal is to “remain accessible and continue providing prompt and efficient service to all Floridians,” while the search for a new office goes on, Rubio spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci wrote in an email to the paper without giving any reason for the move.

“Until we find a permanent new home in the Tampa Bay area, we will have a representative from our Tampa Bay office available to assist constituents on a daily basis” Mandreucci said, providing a phone number for constituents to call.

Crowds opposed to President Donald Trump’s agenda have gathered weekly in front of Rubio’s seven statewide office buildings, waving signs and calling out their messages.

Demonstrators at the Tampa location, where Rubio has been a tenant since 2014, have exceededed 150 people, the newspaper reported.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s downtown Tampa office has not yet drawn rallies.

One of the groups that has rallied at the Republican senator’s office, Indivisible Tampa, told the newspaper that it didn’t intend to get Rubio kicked out of his office.

“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,” said Michael Broache, co-founder of Indivisible Tampa.

“Ultimately, our goal is to engage with Senator Rubio himself,” he said. “He’s the one making these policy decisions.”

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