Pop-up for Trump Roadshow visits Garden City

Meghan Flynn
Emily Wellman sells merchandise for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign Friday in Garden City at the traveling Pop-Up for Trump Roadshow at the Clarion Inn.

In a typical election year without COVID-19, Virginia Crossland and Emily Wellman would have been at the Kansas State Fair last week working at the Republican Party booth.

This year, the fair was canceled and there was no booth, so Crossland and Wellman decided to mobilize the booth, Wellman said.

“When we realized the fair was canceled I was talking to Virginia and I was like ’God, maybe we should take the state fair booth to Kansas,’ ” she said. “She called the next day and said, ’I have a trailer and a great idea.’ ”

Thus the Pop-up for Trump Roadshow was created, and Crossland and Wellman have been traveling across Kansas promoting the election and votes for the Republican Party.

The show stopped Friday evening at the Clarion Inn in Garden City.

Crossland said they come equipped with a podium and flags, a speaker system and Trump signs, shirts and hats.

“The message here is really about our country being, America's on the ballot, our freedom's on the ballot this time, because we see cities on fire, and we see turmoil among the young and a lot of disenchanted, so why not be part of the solution instead of wanting to tear America down,” she said. “That's where we started and we created a line of cities (that we go to) and we don't stay very long, and people come out to meet us and tell us their stories.”

In addition to meeting the people, letting them speak on the issues and telling their stories and selling Trump campaign merchandise, Crossland and Wellman also invite Republican candidates for office to come meet and speak with the public.

Tracey Mann, Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat, stopped by the Garden City event Friday.

Mann said he’s been busy campaigning since the primary in August.

On Sept. 17, he was in Dodge City, then on Friday was in Cimarron, Ness City and Scott City in addition to Garden City.

“We're talking about the issues, listening to people and the issues they care about,” he said. “We also are campaigning for our own race but also trying to make sure that we get good candidates that are elected to the state legislature, state senate ... So a lot of just campaigning, but that's kind of what America is every four years in the fall.”

Mann said he likes the pop-up event because he’s able to meet people and talk about the campaign and the “importance of getting out and voting and people just being engaged.”

William Clifford, Finney County commissioner and chairman of the Finney County Republican Party and former candidate for Congress in Kansas’ 1st District, said he came out to the event Friday to show support for President Donald Trump and all of the Republican candidates.

Clifford’s excited for the election and was pleased to see people come out to the event and get involved in the election process on Friday night.

“This is our country and our state and our city and county, we citizens need to own it. Like it or hate it, this is the process,” he said. “Political involvement, candidates getting to know voters, signs, TV ads, debates, that's how we get our message out as candidates. I'm excited to see a nice crowd here tonight.”

Clifford encourages citizens to vote in the election in November.

“I would ask folks to please participate in the process, because their vote matters,” he said. “Unfortunately, talking to young people, sometimes they feel like their vote doesn't matter, but me having been a candidate and worked my butt off for 40,000 votes and coming up short, I know that every vote matters.”