Written By: Grace Graves & Kate Westrick, Bryan Triangle political correspondents
On the road with the Trump Train. Last week, the political caravan stopped at nearby Athens, Tenn. for a quick regional update and campaign encouragement.
Although Republican nominee Donald J. Trump was not on the bus when it stopped in the rural Tennessee town, there was a gathering of roughly 200 self-proclaimed Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton “deplorables” ready to cheer for their favorite populist conservative leading GOP presidential candidate. Trump’s pro-gun rights, anti-illegal immigration and America First motto has grabbed the imagination of these Volunteers.
Athens is part of McMinn County, which is known for its reliable GOP bent. Those in attendance were mostly middle aged, while a few Tennessee Wesleyan College students were scattered throughout the excited crowd.
Many were sporting various pro-Trump T-shirts such as “Hillary lied, 4 Americans died” and “Proud to be a deplorable.”
Supporters were loud and unashamed to proclaim their vibrant opinions concerning the former NBC Celebrity Apprentice star.
At the bus tour, Jimmy Duncan introduced the Trump campaign staff by talking about McMinn County history. McMinn County is the only county in Tennessee that is debt free. All McMinn buildings, he explained, are new or recently renovated. The county has the third lowest property taxes in the state because they aren’t paying off debt.
A woman working with GOP Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) passed on the message that “he (Fleischmann) is sticking with Trump.” GOP Scott Desjarlais (R-TN) and Marcia Blackburn (R-TN) are also continuing strongly with the Trump candidacy.
Sheriff Joe Guy moved up to speak and explained he wanted “Washington (D.C.) to leave McMinn alone” and was met with loud cheers from the crowd. He asserted that Washington D.C. should be debt free as the McMinn county government. Mark Cochran, the chairman of the McMinn County Republican Party, said that “government should answer to the people it serves.”
The gathering was ended by Trump supporter and local David Riden asking the group to put their hands on the bus and pray over the campaign.
After encouraging its loyal supporters in Tennessee, the Trump train continues to speed down the tracks with about one week before election. To get more information about the Trump bus schedule and events, go to donaldjturmp.com.