NEW ALBANY, Ohio – Supporters gathered in dozens of locations around Ohio Tuesday night to watch President Donald Trump kick off his 2020 Campaign.
Steve Buckingham, the Ohio state director for Trump’s reelection campaign, said he knew of more than 30 events planned statewide. He told The Ohio Star that the Trump campaign didn’t plan the events, and that he had just learned of nearly a dozen more watch parties that had popped up by late Monday morning.
When asked about press coverage, Buckingham said: “The only event with press invited is in Lucas County. Except of course for the New Albany party where The Ohio Star will be.”
The party room at Mellow Mushroom in New Albany was filled with men and women, black and white, children and adults. Host of the watch party, Eileen Watts, tweeted her enthusiasm for Students for Trump:
— Eileen Watts (@ewattsohio) June 19, 2019
Among the Trump supporters gathered for the watch party was an entire family who had joined the Walk-Away movement. The African-American family of six from Columbus has faced substantial backlash for their decision, but they were firm in their commitment to support the president.
When Trump approached the podium to speak, the local crowd joined the packed stadium in Orlando in chants of “USA! USA!” to greet the president.
“We did not really transfer power from one party to the other, but we transferred power back to you!” proclaimed Trump, earning loud applause in both locations.
The moment the president mentioned “the swamp,” local supporters broke into shouts of “drain the swamp” even before Floridians could. The room booed when Trump mentioned the Mueller report.
Another watch party was being hosted just north of the New Albany event in Fredericktown. Republican Women of Knox County held their Trump Rally Watch Party in a barn belonging to Diane and John Holley.
Several attendees at the Fredericktown party donned “Proud Member of the Basket of Deplorables” t-shirts. “Deplorable and proud of it,” John Holley posted on Facebook.
President Trump shared a long list of accomplishments during his speech, pointing in particular to his judicial appointments.
“107 are already approved and sitting on the bench,” he said. “By the time we are finished with the rest, we will have a record percent, except for one person. Do you know who that president is? His name is George Washington,” Trump said, prompting cheers and laughter at the New Albany party.
In the southwest corner of the state, Linda Caudill was hosting a watch party with several dozen Cincinnati Trump supporters at Price Hill Chili. Caudill’s group, Hamilton County Grassroots for Trump, knew of three additional parties in Clermont County, another one in Hamilton and one in Butler.
“That is why I stand before you tonight, to officially launch my campaign for a second term,” Trump announced in his speech.
“I’m excited about President Trump being our President for two terms, so he can finish what he started and hopefully everyone will get behind him,” said Gary Merrell, a Delaware County commissioner who attended the New Albany rally. He added, “And Make America Great Again.”
“As President Trump officially launches his 2020 bid, volunteers and supporters across Ohio are ready to get to work and re-elect President Trump,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Mandi Merritt told The Ohio Star. “Through the National Week of Training, Trump Victory is engaging hundreds of volunteers right here in Ohio and adding to our massive base of support across the country. The dozens of MAGA Meet Ups across Ohio reflect the continued enthusiasm the Buckeye State has for President Donald Trump.”
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