WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hillary Clinton visited Pitt Community College in Winterville on Thursday as easter North Carolina remains at the center of more high-profile visits for presidential campaigns less than a week until Election Day.
Scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. Clinton was running behind schedule and took the stage about half an hour later. There was a lot of excitement on the campus as students and community members gathered to greet Clinton.
For this get out the vote rally, it was Clinton’s first appearance this election season and since the 2008 election where she appeared in Jacksonville. Her husband Bill has stopped in the area a few times this election season, along with her daughter Chelsea. With less than five days until election day, Clinton said the stop was crucial.
And the speech was nothing brief. She spoke for more than thirty minutes tackling almost every issue that’s been in the forefront this election season, everything except the scandal involving her controversial email server and the more recent new FBI findings.
“She not only came repeatedly to your state, but she came to PCC” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as she warmed up the crowd.
In the historic stop, Clinton wasted no time recognizing the recent devastation the state has suffered, noting the damage from Hurricane Matthew to lives and homes lost and devastation to the agriculture industry.
She also spent time on stage attacking her opponent Donald Trump, “He’s giving a dog whistle to his supporters. [He’s] endorsed by the official paper of the KKK.”
Her stern reminder of the importance of voting rounded out her message telling the crowd not to let anyone tell you who to vote for or what to stand for.
PCC leaders said that they expected around 2,000 people to show up to the rally.
The Secret Service worked with police departments from PCC, Greenville and Winterville. Yet, they didn’t even know Clinton was considering the area until just 2 days ago and got the official confirmation Wednesday.
PCC’s Rick Owens said, despite the timing, they’re prepared.
“We’ve worked with the secret service to come in and make sure that we could find a secure location while keeping the college operational. I mean we’re dead in the middle of the semester, we’re approaching midterms, so we can’t just shut the college down for a person to come in but we do want to be supportive of the political process as well,” said PCC Administrative Services Vice President Rick Owens.
Both candidates are calling North Carolina a must-win state.
While this is Clinton’s first visit to the East, Donald Trump has stopped in the area 3 times.
Trump’s running mate Mike Pence will visit Greenville Friday for a rally at the Rock Springs Center starting at 2 p.m.