Gov. Rick Scott (R., Fla.) has declared a state of emergency for areas of Florida in preparation for white nationalist Richard Spencer speaking at the University of Florida.
Scott issued an executive order that a "threat of a potential emergency is imminent" in Alachua County to aid law enforcement agencies in their response to rallies planned for Thursday, the Washington Post reported.
Spencer led the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in violence between white supremacists, their supporters and counter-protesters, including the death of a woman.
A state of emergency was declared after the violence broke out in Charlottesville.
In the wake of the violence there, the University of Florida initially told Spencer he could not hold an event he had planned on campus. After his supporters and a lawyer questioned the decision on First Amendment grounds, Spencer was ultimately allowed to schedule his speech for this Thursday.
The university intends to spend $500,000 on security.
Scott has activated the Florida National Guard to help with security and has spoken with the county's sheriff multiple times over the past weekend.
"We’re not being alarmist. But we want to be prepared," Sheriff Sadie Darnell said.