SWFL partisans gather to watch debate

SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — Democrats and Republicans across Southwest Florida watched the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with keen interest.

Video of remarks Trump made about women in 2005 that surfaced Friday and Trump’s subsequent citation of dismissed rape allegations against Bill Clinton injected an added layer of controversy and energy into the showdown. Southwest Florida Democrat Matthew Roazen pointed to Trump’s comments in which he describes trying to have sex with a married woman and brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.

“I think we’re seeing a lot of Republicans who are trying to run for their own seats who don’t want to be associated with that sort of language, and I can understand it,” Roazen said. “I have a mother, I have a daughter and I have a wife.”

Many Trump supporters came together at Bistro 41 in the Bell Tower Shops in South Fort Myers, where the Southwest Florida Young Republicans held a watch party.


Clinton has her fair share of skeletons in her closet, too, Trump supporters insisted. The fallout from Clinton’s email scandal has not faded.

“She’s also deleted evidence that we know that we needed, and it’s not fair for her to continuously lie to the people,” said Kimberly Franklin, secretary of the Southwest Florida Young Republicans.

Franklin and other members of the group spent Sunday evening at Bistro 41 in the Bell Tower Shops in South Fort Myers for a debate watch party. Many there said they were pleased with the outcome of the debate and left with more clarity about the race.