RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — All eyes are on the commonwealth today as President Donald Trump prepares to rally in Richmond in an effort to boost the election chances of Congressman Andy Barr.
The Republican incumbent is locked in a tight race with Democrat challenger and retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.
The president and his supporters are hoping to ramp up enthusiasm for Barr and keep his seat solidly red.
The event is expected to kick off around 7 p.m. inside Alumni Coliseum on the campus of Easter Kentucky University.
Packed crowd here outside EKU'S Alumni Coliseum. Rally is still 10 hours away, but the supporters here are fired up. Talked to several people who are concerned about border security and just general sense of security. Some say they feel targeted as Trump supporters. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/Nrmm4NAS0X
— Mike Valente (@ValenteLEX18) October 13, 2018
The excitement has been building for days in Madison County, and several supporters were lined up early Saturday morning despite the chilly conditions.
“Regardless of what your stand is, for a president to come to your county is amazing,” said Sharon Snyder of Madison County.
There is a national spotlight on this hotly contested race, with many political pundits observing that if this district turns blue, it could signal a national shift.
On Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden was in Bath County rallying support for McGrath.
But tonight, it’s Trump’s turn to stump for Barr.
If the supporters lined up early Saturday are any indication, enthusiasm is high.
“We’re going to support a president being in our home town,” said EKU sophomore Hunter Hazelwood. “We’re not going for our own political beliefs or anyone else’s political beliefs, or to be negative toward anyone else’s political beliefs.”
Gates open at 8 a.m., and the rally will kick off at 7 p.m.