- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Sep. 3—WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Sharon Anderson sat comfortably in her folding chair, proud that she was the first person in line for Saturday's "Save America" rally at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, featuring former President Donald Trump.
This will be the 26th Trump rally for Anderson, 66 of Tennessee, who like most Trump supporters, believes Trump will run for president in 2024 and he will win — in a landslide.
Anderson will be the first of an expected 11,000 people to file into the arena for Saturday's rally. Trump is expected to take the stage at 7 p.m., along with GOP candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz (U.S. Senate), Doug Mastriano (Governor) and Jim Bognet (8th Congressional District).
Anderson said she arrived in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday night for one reason and one reason only — to support President Trump.
"No doubt in my mind that he will run in 2024," Anderson said. "He's proven himself on every policy he's promised."
Jared Petry, 21 of Ohio, was second in line and he agrees with Anderson.
"We support Trump because he supports the issues important to us," Petry said. "The economy, safe borders, Second Amendment, energy independence, sanctity of human life, America first."
Allison Daly, Philadelphia, Peggy Jungers, Wisconsin, Mellen Botto, Valley Forge and Trisha Paulson, Wisconsin were waiting a little further down the line. They said they consider themselves true patriots and Trump is still their President.
"When Trump wins in 2024, he will change the world," they said. "Trump stands up for the people."
On Thursday, Jimmy Harrity, Political Director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, sent this out ahead of the Trump event:
"The party is cancelling the Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 'Counter Visibility against Trump.'
"We have concerns about the safety of our members with Trumpsters and Mastriano supporters in attendance at Trump's Rally.
"We decided that It would be better to err on the side of caution and be safe rather than sorry."
Kathy Bozinski, Chair of the Luzerne County Democratic Party, said that "Trump and Mastriano crowds can be very demonstrative and downright combative — it's better to cancel our event."
The Trump supporters at the arena Friday scoffed at those statement, asking, "When was the last time a Republican started any trouble? We aren't violent people."
And if Trump still has the allure he had in 2016 and 2020, you can expect 10,000-plus to arrive Saturday to see the man they still contend didn't lose in 2020 to Democrat Joe Biden.
Billed as a "Save America Rally," the Trump camp announced that entertainment and concessions will be available throughout the day at the arena.
Each person can only register up to two tickets per mobile number per event and all tickets are distributed on a first-come first-serve basis. They are available at https://events.donaldjtrump.com/events/save-america-rally-in-scranton-pa.
PennDOT said there will be traffic delays as follows:
—I-81 southbound between exit 180 and exit 168 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
—I-81 northbound between exit 168 and exit 180 between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Motorists can check conditions on major roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.