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Vice President Pence expected in SWFL for return Sanibel visit

Vice President Mike Pence is expected to return to Southwest Florida, visiting Sanibel Island, Thursday.

With Pence set to arrive that also means an expectation for busy roads on the island to kick off the new year. Even with potential for busy traffic, people we spoke to are excited for the vice president’s return.

Sarah Donehew still has a picture of Vice President Mike and Karen Pence when they both went to eat at Cheeburger Cheeburger over the summer.

“The whole restaurant was running around,” Donehew said. “My coworkers were freaking out. I was freaking out, obviously.”

Donehew said they were a pleasant couple to welcome to the burger joint on Sanibel.

“He just seemed really genuine,” Donehew said.

Pence is also known to hang out at Sanibel Grill.

“A lot of guests come in, and they want to know if he’s going to come here every time he’s on the island,” Julie Grzeszak said.

It brings more people to Sanibel, some to watch Pence’s motorcade come down the causeway.

“Yes. It could impact it a little bit,” Grzeszak said. “But, I mean, it’s busy either way.”

Grzeszak knows how heavy Sanibel traffic gets this time of year, and if you’re not careful, you’re in a stand still.”

Folks urge drivers to be safe.

“Please watch the crossing guards, and that’s a real concern,” Konnie Boajll said. “Please no cell phones. Everybody look out for everyone and be safe.”

Sanibel Police Chief William Dalton says driver should avoid the roads on Sanibel between 3 to 7 p.m. if they want to beat traffic. Also, locals agree the traffic feature on Google Maps is a good tool for helping navigate around the busy spots.

“I already called, if he comes, I’m serving him because I work tomorrow,” Donehew said. “So, hopefully, I can serve him if he comes.”

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Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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