Secession petitioners await White House response

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - More than 35,000 people signed a petition calling for Florida to secede from the union -- more than passing the White House threshold for promising a response.

People from almost every state have signed petitions on the White House's website asking to secede from the union. Most of the state petitions started after President Barack Obama's reelection.

David from Arcadia, Bryant from Panama City and Adam from Apopka were among those signing the petition asking the Obama administration to allow Florida to peacefully withdraw from the union and create its own government, free of federal rule.

Democratic strategist Steve Schale says the petitioners represent a small segment of the population.

"People that want to leave the country make up a distinct minority of the country. That being said, they have a right to have their voice heard," Schale said.

Concerns over the federal debt, drone use, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act and Transportation Safety Administration searches are fueling the calls for secession. Some people, like tea party members, want the union to stay intact, they just believe the federal government has exceeded its constitutional bounds and they want ObamaCare repealed.

Anticipating backlash to the president's reelection, Florida's new House Speaker, Republican Will Weatherford, had this message for his colleagues in the Legislature:

"We have a president, and for those who wish him to fail, or for that matter wish our Congress to fail, only wish for America to fail and that is unacceptable,"  Weatherford said.

The White House promises to post a response to the petition on its website. A petition for Texas to secede currently has the most signatures: more than 100,000. A petition on the site calling to strip the citizenship of everyone who signs a secession petition has 22,000 signatures.

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