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The Villages
Saturday, November 26, 2022

Villagers for Trump show support as president announces 2020 election plans

Members of Villagers for Trump turned out en masse Tuesday to show their support for President Trump – both in Orlando and in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.

President Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign at the Amway Center in Orlando on Tuesday night. Many members of Villagers for Trump attended the event and a watch party was held for those who stayed behind at Gator’s Dockside in Brownwood.

Two busloads of Villagers for Trump members and other supporters departed The Villages early Tuesday morning so they could attend the president’s rally at the Amway Center, where he officially announced his re-election campaign for 2020.

In The Villages, other members of the group were joined by supporters from throughout the Central Florida area for a watch party at Gator’s Dockside in Brownwood. The boisterous and cheering group, which easily filled half of the restaurant, hung on Trump’s every word as he thanked his supporters and outlined plans for his next four years in office.

Lee Green, president of the Jewish Republican Chavurah of The Villages, was all smiles throughout the day as she took in the atmosphere among the tens of thousands of Trump supporters waiting outside the Amway Center.

Lee Green, president of the Jewish Republican Chavurah of The Villages, was all smiles as she enjoyed the day in Orlando leading up to President Trump’s rally at the Amway Center on Tuesday night.

“We are all so happy and exhilarated to be together with kindred spirits,” Green said after the rally ended. “Jubilant to show our support for Trump and thankful for the moral clarity and common sense of all the speakers. And thrilled to see our president.”

Villagers for Trump member Dick Clapp, of the Village of Calumet Grove, agreed.

“It was a great rally and I would do it again. It was well worth it,” the Village of Calumet Grove resident said, referring to the hours long wait, putting up with stormy weather and the inevitable “chaos” when people were finally allowed to enter the arena. “The message was great and the enthusiasm was unbelievable. Donald Jr. spoke for 20 minutes and (Vice President) Mike Pence did a great job.”

Left: Ericka Yeger, Lee Green, Susan Frost and Mark Kaufman attended President Trump’s rally in Orlando on Tuesday. The four are members of the Jewish Republican Chavurah of The Villages. Right: Two buses filled with Villagers for Trump members headed to Orlando early Tuesday morning for the president’s rally to announce his re-election campaign for the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, at Gator’s Dockside in Brownwood, spirits were high and the cheering was quite loud.

“I think the turnout is fantastic,” said Art Donnelly, a Villagers for Trump director, of the close to 100 people in attendance. “We are so pleased that people took time out of their day to come down here and listen to President Trump and his message.”

Donnelly, who also serves with the VHA, said it’s important to understand the significance of Trump kicking off his re-election bid in the Sunshine State.

Tens of thousands of supporters showed up at the Amway Center in Orlando on Tuesday in hopes of hearing President Trump’s speech and announcement that he is running for re-election in 2020.

“The state of Florida is a great predictor of who’s going to win,” he said. “I think both the Democrats and President Trump understand the importance of Florida.”

Donnelly recalled something that Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was endorsed by the president, said during a recent visit to The Villages about Trump and the amount of time he spends in Florida, largely at his resort, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach.

“I think what Gov. DeSantis said is accurate,” Donnelly said. “He probably understands Florida better than any other president we’ve ever had.”

Villagers for Trump members and other supporters of the president attended a watch party at Gator’s Dockside in Brownwood on Tuesday night to hear Trump announce his plans to run for re-election in 2020.

Larry Hartman had tickets to the event in Orlando but opted instead to make the drive from his home in Citrus County to watch the rally with his Villagers for Trump friends.

“I love it. We are finally hearing about someone who’s concerned about the people’s needs, not special interest” said Hartman, a member of the Trump and Republican clubs in Citrus County. “He doesn’t owe anybody anything. He made his own way.”

Hartman also called Trump a hero for putting aside his successful business life and all of his assets to serve the American people.

Security was tight and media from throughout the world was in attendance as Trump supporters of all ages attended Tuesday night’s rally at the Amway Center in Orlando.

“His face needs to be on Mount Rushmore,” he said. “Except the only place left is on the left – and we don’t want him on the left. So we need a whole new mountain just for him,” Hartman added with a smile.

Tuesday’s watch party also brought out two former Democrats who are huge Trump supporters.

Supporters of President Trump came from throughout the United States to attend his rally at the Amway Center in Orlando on Tuesday night. The Sunshine State always plays a crucial role in the outcomes of presidential elections.

“I did not leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me,” said Harry Barnes, of the Village of Santo Domingo, who was a Democrat in the “old guard” days of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. “Today, the Democratic Party is a very liberal, socialist party, which does not represent me.”

Jenny Wolfrom agreed, adding that she switched parties so she could vote for Trump in the primary leading up to the 2016 presidential election. She got teary-eyed when asked what she thought of his message to the American people.

“It’s what this country needs,” she said. “Everybody got crazy with Obama. His message was the destruction of democracy. We needed a businessman to get the economy going.”

Trump supporters Harry Barnes, Larry Hartman, Susan Kelly and Jenny Wolfrom attended the Trump rally watch party at Gator’s Dockside on Tuesday night.

For Susan Kelly, an extremely active member of Villagers for Trump, Tuesday night’s gathering was a chance to show her support for the president and enjoy time together with like-minded friends.

“Florida has to work hard to get this man elected again,” the Village of Buttonwood resident said. “I know we’re out there doing the things we have to do and there’s strategies involved.”

The watch party and trip to Orlando marked the second time in less than a week that Villagers for Trump members have come together to show their support for the president. This past Friday afternoon, about 40 members gathered at the intersection of Morse Boulevard and County Road 466 to celebrate Flag Day and Trump’s 73rd birthday. They were decked out in a variety of red, white and blue clothing and waving flags and signs showing support for the president’s agenda.

Close to 40 members of Villagers for Trump attended a flag-waving event this past Friday afternoon at the corner of Morse Boulevard and County Road 466.

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