President-elect Donald Trump called his post-election barnstorming the Thank You Tour. Mitch Tyner, state chairman for the Committee to Elect Trump, rebranded it the Thank Y’all Tour and took it zig-zagging across Mississippi this week.
The tour rolled into Gulfport, the penultimate stop on the tour, about noon where it found more than 20 supporters and campaign workers waiting at The Dock on Seaway Road. Trump, busy with cabinet confirmations and inauguration plans, was there in spirit only. And in the huge photo on the side of the tour bus.
Tyner said the election of Trump will mean “jobs, jobs, jobs for Mississippi.” In fact he said state campaign director Dane Maxwell wasn’t at The Dock because he was in Pascagoula trying to nail down a deal that to land an employer for Pascagoula that would mean “thousands and thousands of new jobs.” He said Maxwell, who’s running for mayor of Pascagoula, told him that deal also could mean a campus of one of the state’s universities could be coming to Jackson County to train the workforce for that employer.
The last stop was later in Pascagoula.
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“What a wild ride,” Tyner said of the election season. He said the campaign had Mississippi locked down so early that key people from the state campaign were able to go to other states, Florida in particular, that needed help. “This is all about the real reason Donald Trump was elected. It wasn’t the staff, it was you guys. It was the grass roots and the enthusiasm you had.”
The rest of the hour program was spent handing out plaques to county campaign chairmen and telling war stories. Like the time Harrison County chairman Justin Skinner had to race from the Jackson airport to a KFC in Jackson for takeout to feed those on the Trump jet.
“All the people were waiting on the Trump plane,” Tyner said. “He’s going a hundred miles an hour trying to get out there and the people at the airport were like, “Why aren’t they taking off.”
Tyner said he heard several times on the tour that Trump was already creating optimism that would result in jobs coming to Mississippi. He said a Pike County metal building contractor told him he had received a record number of quote requests for buildings.
“I think 2017 is going to be a really, really good year for the country,” Tyner said. “But I think 2018 is going to be over the top.”