Donald Trump Jr. held an in-person rally in Sparks on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the first presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.
About a couple hundred mostly maskless people gathered outside in the smoke-filled air to see the president’s son. Trump Jr. spent his time boasting about the economy under Trump, along with attacking former Vice President Joe Biden for his policy decisions in the past.
Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top Trump campaign official, criticized California for its left-leaning politics and helped energize the crowd in support of Trump.
“We need him. America deserves him behind the wheel,” Guilfoyle said, “We don’t need these left-leaning states, like my goodness, your neighbor over there in California. What is going on?”
Trump Jr. shared that sentiment, complimenting Nevada in one of his opening lines.
“Oh, it’s so much better here than to your neighbor to the West.” Trump Jr. said.
Nevada has a Democratic governor and has gone blue in the last three presidential elections. But many Trump supporters say they're hoping to flip the state this election, including 18-year-old Miki Cutter who will be casting her ballot for the first time in November.
“I’m excited to have the right to voice my opinion for who I want to lead the country as well as millions of others who I know are voting for Trump,” Cutter said.
One issue important to Cutter is LGBTQ+ rights, and she’s happy with what the president has done so far, including the appointment of an openly gay man Richard Grenell as the acting director of national intelligence.
“I like the actions he’s taken to help push forward the LGBTQ community,” Cutter said, “I feel like the concept that Trump supporters are homophobic is very false because I'm gay.”
For Cutter, she says she hopes to break that stereotype and she plans on casting her vote in person on Election Day.
The rally occurred the same day that Health District Officer Kevin Dick reported Washoe County’s test positivity rate as being the highest in the state, even surpassing Clark County. Dick told reporters now is not the time for large gatherings.
“I am concerned about the rally,” Dick said, “I know that the City of Sparks has tried to do their best on some controls and measures to help the spread of the disease.”
While the event was outdoors, most attendees did not wear facial coverings.
Democratic State Senator Julia Ratti, whose senate district includes Sparks, blasted the Trump campaign in a statement, calling the event out-of-touch, and saying it endangered the lives of Nevadans.
KUNR's Jayden Perez contributed to this story.
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