St. Louis area Trump supporters rally in Ballwin, Jefferson City
Trump supporters from St. Louis and around the country rallied in their state capitols Saturday.
The coordinated "Marches 4 Trump" were organized as a response to progressive protests and rallies that have taken place nationwide in recent weeks.
“We need to show the president that across the country the people that elected him overwhelmingly support him,” said Ben Murphy, a 59-year-old Trump volunteer from Chesterfield. “We’re not buying into the fake news and all the trouble that we’re receiving from the other side.”
Murphy met a handful of supporters at the Taubman outlet mall in Chesterfield Saturday morning to carpool to the Jefferson City rally. After attaching a large blue Trump flag onto a section of PVC pipe and passing out poster board cutouts of Trump’s face, Murphy’s group traveled in a caravan to Wentzville to meet more supporters before heading on to the state capitol.
“People don’t want to give (Trump) a chance to do good,” said Shmuly Pilkinton, one of about 30 people who joined the caravan in Wentzville.
A social worker from St. Louis County, Pilkinton said he voted for Trump, but Trump wasn’t his first choice.
“I want to get out and just say I have faith and confidence in my elected leaders. And whether he does good or does not, I want to give him a fair chance to make a positive impact on this country,” said Pilkinton, 37.
About 200 people who couldn’t go to Jefferson City attended a local Trump rally Saturday in Ballwin.
Republican activist Rene Artman said she helped organize the local rally because Democrats are “hell-bent on bringing Trump down.”
“I did not like when President Obama was elected, but we didn’t go out and burn cars or do all of that. I held my nose. I kept my mouth shut. I respected him. The Democrats on the whole have no respect,” Artman said.
Local anti-Trump events have been peaceful. But Artman said she is appalled by reports of vandalism during anti-Trump protests in California.
There was also a March 4 Trump gathering Saturday at the Illinois state capitol in Springfield.
Follow Camille on Twitter: @cmpcamille.
An earlier version of this story misspelled Shmuly Pilkinton's first name.