Crowds of supporters were lined up in Wildwood as early as Sunday in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s campaign rally.
Trump announced what the campaign calls his “Keep America Great” rally in support of New Jersey congressman Jeff Van Drew, a longtime democrat that recently switched to the Republican Party. President Trump urged rally attendees to vote for Van Drew in a June 2 primary, where the congressman is expected to face a challenge for the Republican nomination.
“Jeff had the guts to defy the left-wing fanatics in his own party and stand tall in defense of our constitution, our freedom, and democracy itself,” Trump said.
Before switching parties, Van Drew was one of two House democrats to cross party lines and oppose articles of impeachment against President Trump. The New Jersey congressman has since vowed to support the Republican party and the President.
Trump invited the South Jersey Representative to the stage, where Van Drew said he asked the president to host a rally in his congressional district.
“Without even hesitating our President said yes, and he is here a man who kept his word to ensure that the eyes of the world are on South Jersey and all of us,” Van Drew said.
During the event, Congressman Jeff Van Drew said over 175,000 thousand people requested tickets to the Wildwood Convention Center rally. The venue holds roughly 7,500.
The thousands that didn’t make it into the venue were able to view the rally on a large screen set up in Fox Park across the street. Another screen was set up in the parking lot.
Protests and counterdemonstrations took place, but Van Drew said the southern part of the state has more Trump supporters than a majority of New Jersey, which holds a reputation as a blue state.