The line for President Donald Trump’s rally wrapped around the Mississippi Coast Coliseum by early afternoon Monday, but 9-year-old Laci Lamb and her mom found themselves plucked right out of it.
Laci carried her blue and red pom poms and wore a T-shirt with a photo of her and Trump emblazoned on front. She got the picture snapped in 2016, when Trump campaigned for president at the Coliseum.
Laci’s mom, Annie Lamb, said a nice man in a suit walked up, asked if they were in the general admission line and told the Lucedale pair to come with him. He handed them VIP passes.
The doors opened more than an hour early for the crowd, some of whom had been waiting on the Coliseum grounds since security let them through the gates at 8 a.m.
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Trump and a last-minute addition, Vice President Mike Pence, are coming to Biloxi to support incumbent Rep. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, whose race against Democrat Mike Espy is much closer than expected.
Hyde-Smith stirred the nation’s ire, and gave some Republican supporters in Mississippi second thoughts, after she made remarks about a “public hanging” and voter suppression. She faces Democrat Mike Espy in Tuesday’s runoff.
Many of the attendees won’t be able to vote in Mississippi’s runoff. Like Rion Loisel, they drove in from other states.
“The Trumpublicans, that’s my thing,” said Loisel, who is from Louisiana. Loisel said he supports many of Trump’s policies, including building a wall along the nation’s border with Mexico.
A Latina for Trump, Eva Sara Landau, sported a Trump flag as a cape. She also loves all things Trump, including his stand on immigration. Landau said she is an American citizen who immigrated legally from Bolivia. She said immigrants need to follow the law in applying for asylum and citizenship.
Landau recently moved to Diamondhead from Florida and is not yet registered to vote in Mississippi.
But Eddie Rhodes is from St. Martin and said the main reason he came to the rally was for Hyde-Smith.
“I think she’s not going to bring the liberal things into the government anymore,” Rhodes said. And what did he mean by “liberal?”
Rhodes, a commercial fisherman, said: “People should be self sufficient instead of having the government do everything for them. We’ve got to make them responsible for themselves.”
The crowd was laid back. Some brought books to read. One man had just started reading “Game of Thrones,” while a woman in the crowd was sticking to politics with a copy of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s, “Liars, Leakers and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.”