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Rick Scott contacts National Guard as Richard Spencer's UF speech nears

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via @ByTierraSmith

Gov. Rick Scott said in Tampa today that he has reached out to the heads of the National Guard and the Florida Department of Highway Safety in anticipation of next month's speech at the University of Florida by Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who organized this weekend's rallies at Charlottesville, Va.

"I want to make sure everyone is safe," Scott told reporters.

Scott said he also spoke with UF President Kent Fuchs this weekend.

"Whether it's the KKK, neo-Nazis or white supremacists, it is evil," Scott said. "It doesn't belong in our society."

Asked if there were any laws or regulations that would allow Spencer to speak, Scott spoke about a delicate balance.

"We have the First Amendment," Scott said. "But we don't condone violence. My job as governor is to make sure we stay safe."

-- TIERRA SMITH, TAMPA BAY TIMES

Photo credit: Chris Urso | Tampa Bay Times

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