Gov. Mitt Romney has taken the stage at Land O’ Lakes High School.
"This is happening all over the country," Romney said to the crowd that packed into the school's stadium. "People are coming together that want change. We're going to give it to them.
"When we win Florida, we're going to win the White House."
Tonight's rally in Land O’ Lakes is the second visit from a presidential contender to the Tampa Bay area this week. President Barack Obama addressed a crowd of more than 8,000 during a campaign rally at Ybor City’s Centennial Park Thursday.
Romney’s visit to Land O’ Lakes hasn’t been without controversy. The United School Employees of Pasco union planned a protest of the Republican today and has also raised concerns about his use of the school to stump for votes.
Former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat, also spoke in protest of Romney prior to the Republican presidential hopeful's arrival in the Central Pasco town.
The school union's protest drew about a dozen supporters. Some teachers, however, came to show their support for Romney.
Romney’s rally in Pasco has also drawn a large crowd of prominent Florida Republicans. He’s appearing Congressman Connie Mack, who is hoping to unseat Democrat Bill Nelson in the U.S. Senate in November.
U.S. Sen Marco Rubio was scheduled to appear, but had to leave due to a family emergency, according to TBO.com's Twitter feed.
Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church's Senior Pastor Ken Whitten opened the rally with a prayer.
"My prayer tonight is not for a party, but for a people..," Whitten said.
Incoming Florida House Speaker Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who attended Land O' Lakes High School and played football there, addressed the crowd.
"I’m proud of that and I love Land O' Lakes High School, but what going on in this country is not (a) game," he said. "There are two teams and somebody’s gotta lose and somebody’s gotta win.
"Make no mistake, today is game day."
Stay with Patch for updates about the rally.