Linda Curfman proudly held her poster of President Trump, showing it to cars passing on Centerway.
The Evansville woman was one of several people holding flags and signs and receiving appreciative honks—and a few middle fingers—before the “Wheelin’ for Trump” parade started Sunday.
Curfman glowed when asked about Trump but said she was worried about him as he remained hospitalized with COVID-19.
“I am very hopeful. And he’s such a fighter that I know he’s going to beat this and come out even stronger,” she said.
Curfman said she likes Trump, “Because he’s pro-life, he loves America, he loves the military—what else? He wants to make the economy good, he wants to make America great. He wants to make America safe.”
Curfman and her friend Sharon Haak of Milton didn’t wear masks and were often closer than 6 feet to others. They said they feel safe without masks when they are outdoors.
At one point in the rally, about 11 people in the crowd of 70 could be seen wearing masks.
Curfman and Haak met in 2014 when Curfman was going door to door for former Gov. Scott Walker.
“We agree on everything,” Curfman said.
“There were very few—that I knew of—Republicans in Milton-Janesville. I just wouldn’t let her go. She was my friend forever,” Haak said.
The event was organized by South-Central Trump Victory, which comprises Dodge, Jefferson, Walworth, Rock and Green counties.
Paraders drove pickup trucks and cars of various descriptions and makes, including some restored antiques, and three motorcycles.
They planned to drive south to Beloit on Highway 51 and then take Interstate 90/39 north to Newville, turning there onto Highway 51 through Edgerton and back to the Trump Victory Janesville field office, 19 N. High St.
Kevin Pope of Edgerton said he thinks Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would take the country down the wrong path.
“The whole Democratic establishment, it seems like they’re trying to destroy our country,” Pope said,
Asked how he sees the threat from Democrats, Pope mentioned defunding police, which Biden rejects, and Democratic mayors and governors allowing what he sees as “rioting and looting and so-called peaceful protests, and it’s pretty much a joke.”
Pope also sees threats in prominent Democrats: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and a group of progressives that includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Pope said he wasn’t worried about Trump’s health, as he seems in good hands, but he worried about Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and New Jersey’s former Gov. Chris Christie.
Pope said it “seems kind of odd” that only prominent Republicans have recently tested positive for the virus.
Steven Ross of Janesville said he has been going door to door, using a list of Republicans, educating them on how to vote.
A veteran sporting an 82nd Airborne cap, Ross said he believes the soul of America is at stake.
“I worry about how the extreme left and the socialists may have an influence on Biden if he becomes president,” Ross said.
Ross said he sees demonstrators in Madison tearing down the statute of a Civil War colonel who fought to free slaves, and he thinks they don’t understand American history and system.
“I encourage everybody to vote, no matter who they vote for,” Ross said. “Men and women died for that freedom that we have here today, that we can vote, and without threat of violence ... Peaceful protest is definitely a right that we have, but when it comes to burning or destroying other people’s property or endangering—and in some cases people died—I’m very concerned about that.”
The Trump supporters flew American flags, back-the-police flags and at least one Women for Trump flag. Several small flags showed Trump as a bare-chested Rambo with the slogan “No more b-------.”
“It’s ever-more important that we’re out here supporting him (Trump) and showing him that he has our support every single day, no matter what,” said Leslie Hubert, field organizer for the Trump campaign, told the crowd. “And from door knocking with volunteers to just coming to rallies like this and also supporting our local candidates as well, we’re showing the president that he’s awesome and that we’re definitely going to be there for him all the way through, and that we have absolute confidence in him.”
“Too many times over the last few months we’ve seen our sports—NFL, MLB, all that—kind of push aside the idea of what the Star Spangled Banner means to America and to us,” Hubert said in introducing the national anthem.
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck spoke to the crowd about the Trump Victory headquarters behind her, saying, “This is sort of Ground Zero for what we are going to be doing for the next 30 days, whatever it takes to keep the momentum that we have going now and to build that momentum and share your enthusiasm for a president that loves America more than we could ever appreciate and thank him for. So keep the president and the first lady in your thoughts and prayers, please, and stay safe and enjoy your day.”