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Trump Campaigns In Estero

Topher Forhecz/WGCU

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made his first stop to Lee County on Monday.

The crowd at Estero’s Germain Arena was excited to see the nominee.

They threw around beach balls and did the wave while waiting for the candidate.

As Trump appeared, the room dimmed, music blared, and red and blue lights swirled.

Speaking in front a full crowd, Trump hit his usual marks: He talked about building the wall along the Mexican border, fighting ISIS and renegotiating trade deals.

“I’m going to put American workers first and fix our rigged system,” he said. “It’s a rigged system, folks.”

Trump also responded to presidential rival Hillary Clinton’s recent comments where she called half of his supporters “deplorables.”

“She calls the patriotic Americans who support our campaign, many of them cops and soldiers, ‘deplorable and irredeemable,’” he said. “And she means it - millions and millions of people. Has she ever talked that way about radical Islam? No.”

Cars were waiting to get into the arena’s parking lot by 8 a.m. that morning. The event was scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

Cynthia Deshields drove up from Naples to attend the rally.

Credit Topher Forhecz/WGCU

Sitting on a curb before the doors opened, Deshields wore a Trump campaign button, Republican elephant pin, and red and blue scarf.

She said Trump wasn’t her first choice, but he’s growing on her.

“I suspect there are a lot of us who are going to be closet voters, but that’s okay,” she said.

Deshields said national security and the economy are the two issues that matter most to her.

“I feel national security, [Trump] will do very well or he will surround himself with people who will do very well,” she said, “I’m not counting on him being the sole executor of all of these great policies he’s trying to plan. But, I think he will surround himself with very intelligent and capable people.”  

Trump won the Sunshine state in the Republican primary, beating out Florida-born U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Trump told the crowd he also expects to win Florida on election night.

Topher is a reporter at WGCU News.