Hundreds unable to enter Trump rally due to space limits, still ‘thrilled’ to be there


Trump supporters who were unable to gain entry to the rally watch President Donald Trump’s speech on a large screen in the parking lot outside Alumni Coliseum. President Donald Trump held a rally in support of congressional candidate Andy Barr on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus in Richmond, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Sarah Ladd

RICHMOND— Hundreds of Trump supporters were turned away from entering the Trump rally for Andy Barr when Alumni Coliseum reached maximum capacity around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Those who were turned away watched the night’s remarks via a large screen in the parking lot outside.

The setback did not dampen the spirits in the crowd, with screams, shouts and chants of “Andy, Andy” and “Make America great again” coming from the crowd.

Some attendees said they did not arrive until later in the afternoon and were not surprised that they did not make it inside. One attendee, Andrew Patterson, drove almost eight hours for the rally from Virginia and said he was not surprised that he did not make it inside.

“I was in route to get inside until I got here, and I hit the police blockage for the motorcade, so I couldn’t get in,” he said.

He said he was not mad that he did not make it inside.

“So be it. I’m happy to be in Kentucky with all these Trump supporters and it’s lovely to be here. I mean it,” he said. 

Patterson sported his volunteer badge for the rally and said he has been a volunteer for Trump since he announced his presidency.

“When [President Trump] announced in June of 2015 that he was going to run for president, I called the Trump organization in New York. A woman answered within a second. I told her who I was and what I wanted to do. She said, ‘Well you’re the first one to call in,’” he said. 

He said he went on to stay involved and help organize trips in Virginia for the campaign. He said he drove in the motorcades, though he said he did not drive the president.

“It’s been tremendous to see it take off,” he said. He said he saw many people come out to events for the campaign during his volunteer time.

“It was enthusiastic then, it’s more enthusiastic because he is not just a politician,” he said. “He said he’s going to do all these things to help our county, to help the American people, and he’s doing it. He’s fighting for us finally.”

Patterson declined to comment on the Andy Barr versus Amy McGrath race because he is not from the state but said he was “just thrilled” to attend the rally.