Macomb Co. crowds await Trump; some won’t get in, fire chief said

Washington Township – Hours before President Donald Trump takes the stage in Macomb County on Saturday, crowds lined up outside a sports complex for the former president’s first rally in Michigan since the day before the 2020 election.

Trump, who is due to take the stage at 7 p.m., is expected to oppose his approved Michigan primary candidates, including his picks for secretary of state and attorney general: Kristina Karamo and Matt DePerno.

Washington Township Fire Chief Brian Tyrell said indoor capacity at the Michigan Star Center would be capped at 5,500. He predicted capacity would be reached and thousands more would remain outside the facility. establishment.

Randell Moody of Dallas, Texas dances during the Save America Rally at the Michigan Stars Sport Center in Washington Township, Michigan on April 2, 2022.

Saturday’s visit comes three weeks before the Michigan Republican nominating convention in Grand Rapids, where precinct delegates will choose GOP nominees for secretary of state and attorney general who will run in the November election. . They will also select two nominees for the State Board of Education, the Michigan Supreme Court, as well as the Michigan State, Wayne State and University of Michigan boards of trustees.

Former President Donald Trump has already spoken twice at the Total Sports Park complex ahead of Saturday night's rally in Washington Township.  Trump spoke there on April 28, 2018, instead of attending the White House Correspondents Association dinner.

The party will choose its gubernatorial candidate at the polls in the August primary.

Political pundits said they expected the April 23 nominating convention to test the extent of Trump’s influence within the party.

Among the speakers expected to address the crowd on Saturday are Karamo; From Perno; U.S. Representative Lisa McClain, Township of R-Bruce; and West Michigan congressional hopeful John Gibbs, who is challenging U.S. GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Grand Rapids Township — who voted to impeach the former president during the January 6, 2021 riot in US Capitol.

The event will mark Trump’s third visit to the Michigan Star Center in Washington Township. He held a rally inside the indoor soccer field in 2018 instead of attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and returned for an outdoor rally ahead of the October 2020 election.

Participants gather during the Save America rally at the Michigan Stars Sport Center in Washington Township, Michigan on April 2, 2022. (Nic Antaya, special for The Detroit News)

Macomb County was Michigan’s largest county won by Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections and was a frequent stopover in the former president’s efforts to woo the state’s blue-collar vote.

On Friday, Michigan Democrats slammed the former president ahead of his visit, calling Trump “a failed salesman trying to sell his right-wing extremism to an electorate that has already rejected him.”

“Michigans know Republicans can’t move their state forward, and that’s why they will re-elect Governor Whitmer, Attorney General Nessel and Secretary of State Benson in 2022,” said Lavora Barnes, Democratic Party Chairwoman. from Michigan.

Ty Paye brought his wife, son, nephew and a family friend for Saturday’s rally along with a desire for a return to the Trump presidency.

“The gas was low. I wasn’t paying $5 a gallon,” the 58-year-old Clinton Township resident said of life under Trump. I had money in my pockets. I have to go places. And now I really can’t.

“President Trump says what he is going to do and he does it. And he cares about the American people, not his pockets. Democrats, all they care about is their pockets.

Marrah Madsen of Port Huron was also impressed with the President’s record during his tenure as well as his direct speech.

But the 45-year-old US Navy veteran said that doesn’t mean an endorsement from Trump sway his vote. Madsen said she was a supporter of Karamo and gubernatorial candidate Garrett Soldano, a Mattawan chiropractor who made a name for himself opposing state restrictions during the pandemic.

“Some people matter,” Madsen said of Trump’s endorsement. “For me, it’s about the person. I do my own research, what I see online, what they say. … Your actions speak louder than your words.

Soldano and DePerno supporter Sue Zerillo echoed Madsen’s ambivalence toward the former president’s endorsement.

“His influence helps,” said the 59-year-old Clinton Township resident. “But the research you do on people, that’s what I take away.”

Brad Bergman said he’s keeping an “open ear” and has no “blinkers” when it comes to endorsements or politics in general. But he was certain that the Democratic leaders currently in office “were not up to the task”.

“The Governor, the AG, I know what they did,” said the 62-year-old from Brighton. “I personally felt it and I think they were wrong.”

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