Thousands of supporters from across the country have gathered in Rochester, Minnesota, for Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again campaign rally at the Mayo Civic Center, according to reports from FOX47.
Andy Krogstad, who is the managing director of the Mayo Civic Center, gave details of the capacity of the building’s 4,000 seats with the capability for an additional standing room for 1,500 extra people, which based on early returns, still may not be enough.
Hopeful Trump supporters began gathering outside of the arena at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, ready to camp out in hopes of making it inside the building to hear Trump speak. The first person in line was Randal Thom of Lakefield, Minnesota, who has been to 40 other Trump campaign rallies.
“We have our great president coming in to inspire his base and hopefully, we’ll inspire him back with our enthusiasm that we’ll have for him and show him that we stand for his policies and that we support him fully,” said Thom.
“It’s a lot of fun, you get to meet so many people from around the country and around the state, it’s going to be a love fest and we all become friends,” added Thom. “When I’m here, I like to be the unofficial cheerleader and guide the new people along with what to expect.”
Officials behind the Mayo Civic Center are expecting more campers to line up before the doors open on Thursday evening.
“The campaign has told us that periodically there have been a few hundred people that gather in the morning at venues when the venue begins to be activated for the day,” said Krogstad.
Trump’s choice of Rochester in the traditionally blue Minnesota is telling amid reports of state Republicans who have made efforts to avoid association with the president as they campaign in tight congressional races, according to reports from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.
The aim of Trump’s visit is in support of two Republican candidates that are running in districts that the GOP believe can be wrestled from Democrat control as Republicans brace for a brutal November that could see them lose control of the House.
Republican Jim Hagedorn is hoping to get a victory in Minnesota’s first district, which Republican-leaning has been represented by Tim Waltz for the past 12 years. After nearly snatching the seat in 2016, Hagedorn believes he has a real chance with Waltz having entered the governor’s race.
The backstory in Minnesota’s eighth district is very much the same, as Republican County Commissioner Pete Stauber is hoping to build on several razor-thin Republican losses to finally break through after the retirement of Democratic Representative Rick Nolan.
Trump last appeared in Minnesota back in June and expects to be a constant presence in the state that he pulled off an upset in during the 2016 presidential election.