Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech

(AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida Gov. Rick Scott is declaring a state of emergency in advance of a speech white nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to give at the University of Florida.

Scott warned in an executive order Monday that a “threat of a potential emergency is imminent” in Alachua County, in north Florida. Spencer is slated to speak at the campus on Thursday.

Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August.

Scott’s executive order will allow local law-enforcement authorities to partner with state and other law-enforcement agencies to provide security for the event. The university has already said it expects to spend $500,000 on security.

The governor is also activating the Florida National Guard to help with security if it is needed.