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President Trump Supporters Gather At Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Hours Before His Rally

LATROBE (KDKA) - Hours before President Donald Trump's event began in Latrobe, supporters were gathering to wait for him. Some supporters even started showing up last night.

So far this year, President Trump has made stops in the eastern part of the state to speak at public events. However, this is President Trump's first visit to western Pennsylvania since late last year when he spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh.

Traffic was backed up for hours off Route 30 Thursday afternoon as thousands of supporters headed to the airport.

Dozens of people lined up before the sun came up to get the best seat, while others like Edward Mead made the trip from across the state.

"This is my 13th rally. I'm basically a groupie," Mead told KDKA.

Mead hit the road from Erie early Thursday morning to drive his camper to the event. This trip is short compared to most.

"Cincinnati, Charleston, South Dakota. I've been all over," Mead said.

While he's a seasoned veteran excited to hear the president speak, others are first timers.

"I can't wait for just the experience, but I am praying for a great turnout. I'm a Christian and I want a good turnout so he can see that people support him," said Carol Deusanio, who traveled from the South Hills.

While the rain fell on the crowd for a few hours, hundreds of people still showed up.

Many waited in ponchos with signs and flags until the doors officially opened at 4 p.m., ahead of the president's arrival at 7 p.m.

"We are a Democrat county, we are a Democrat area and I'm really glad he's coming so his supporters can come out and show him we are also here," Deusanio said.

Hours before President Trump lands in Latrobe, his supporters made themselves at home in the airport parking lot.

#NEW Crowds continue to grow in Latrobe ahead of President Trump's arrival tonight at 7pm.

Posted by Nicole Ford on Thursday, September 3, 2020

"The atmosphere is just unreal, like the adrenaline rush and just to hear him, see him," said Kelli Fortuna.

Fortuna says he brought coffee and breakfast for everyone.

WATCH: KDKA's Lindsay Ward reports

"President Trump is for America first. And he brings all Americans who love our country together," said Blake Marnell.

Blake Marnell is from San Diego, California, but traveled to Washington, D.C. for a few days. He cut his trip short so he could be here.

His one-of-a kind patterned with bricks to sends a message: "Signifies my support for strong border policies to keep our country safe," said Marnell.

donald trump supporter
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

President Trump supporters tell KDKA they've been to more than a dozen of his rallies.

"I'm not kidding, I truly believe that Donald Trump was sent by God. True. He's not perfect, he's a sinner. But if you read the Bible, so was Moses, so was David, so was everybody," said Edward X Young.

Earlier in the morning, KDKA spoke to supporters who showed up overnight.


"I think this is my 28th rally. So I do support him. And I usually try to be in the front row, so yeah I love him," said Rick Frazier.

He went on to say: "I got so many friends I met from all over the nation that really gets it -- people I wouldn't have known otherwise hadn't Trump brought us together," said Rick Frazier.

Pennsylvania is a battleground state in the 2020 election.

This was evident on Monday when Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden gave his first major speech as a candidate in Hazelwood.

Mr. Biden also released a statement ahead of President Trump's visit to Latrobe:

"When President Trump speaks in Westmoreland County today, you almost certainly won't hear him take responsibility for the economic hardship his presidency has caused Pennsylvanians," Mr. Biden said in the statement. "President Trump's mishandling of the economy and the coronavirus pandemic has caused millions of people across the Commonwealth to file for unemployment since March, has led to a staggering unemployment rate of 13.5% in Westmoreland County, and caused nearly 8,000 Pennsylvanians to lose their lives from the virus. But even before this crisis began, President Trump's reckless economic policies and tariff wars shipped jobs overseas and lined the pockets of CEOs, while leaving Western Pennsylvania workers and families behind. Wall Street didn't build this country, the middle class built this country. As President, I will fight for hardworking Pennsylvanians, bring our economy back from the brink, and create good-paying, manufacturing, and union jobs."

KDKA will be at the event this evening and updates will be provided in the evening newscasts.

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