The event will take place in Bedford Park on Saturday, Sept. 9.
The Sussex County Republican Committee will host a “Support Our President Rally” in Georgetown next weekend.
“It’s just to show our support for the president, give like-minded people an opportunity to get together and express their support publicly and … generally have a nice Saturday morning,” said committee Vice Chairman Don Petitmermet.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Bedford Park, at the corner of North Bedford and James Streets, rain or shine.
Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, who was the Delaware chairman for President Trump’s presidential campaign, will give a short speech to kick off the event. Petitmermet said the Delaware Republican Party Chairman, Mike Harrington, may speak as well.
The GOP will also provide an opportunity for citizens to register to vote and/or change their party association at the rally.
Just how many people will attend the event is not yet known, but Petitmermet said he would be “terribly embarrassed” if less than 25 people showed up.
The purpose of the rally is to show support for President Donald Trump, who is experiencing historically low approval ratings. Gallup polls showed an approval rating of just 34 percent on two days this month, August 13 and 24, Trump’s lowest approval rating since becoming president.
“In the past six months, I have seen a great number of demonstrations locally, statewide and throughout the country against the president,” Petitmermet said. “They say ‘You are not our president,’ and I think we decided it’s about time somebody said, ‘Well, we do support our president.’ You may not like how he talks but some respect is due to that office.”
President Trump, who is not expected to attend the Georgetown event, held a rally in Phoenix, Arizona last week that drew hundreds of both supporters and protestors. Two days later, on August 25, Trump granted his first presidential pardon to a former Maricopa County, Arizona (of which Phoenix is the county seat) sheriff. Joe Arpaio was found to be in contempt of federal court after he admittedly defied a judge’s order to stop targeting Hispanic drivers suspected to be illegal immigrants. The 85-year-old faced up to six months of jail time, but was pardoned before he could be sentenced.
“I personally think the trial of the sheriff was primarily politically motivated. I’m not upset that the president pardoned a long-serving person who, until this point, did not have a serious problem,” Petitmermet opined. “My personal observation is, whatever [Trump] does, there’ll be somebody upset about it.”
Sussex County Democratic Committee Chairperson Jane Hovington said her party has no plans to protest the event.
“I don’t see a need for us to oppose it,” Hovington said. “They have a right to rally together if they like.”
Petitmermet said the rally has no association with American Congress for Truth (ACT) for America, a Virginia Beach group the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as an extremist group and “far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.”
ACT for America had previously scheduled nationwide “America First” rallies on Sept. 9, the same day the Sussex County GOP’s event is scheduled for, however, the ACT rallies were canceled after protesters clashed violently in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“We are absolutely not [associated with ACT],” Petitmermet said. “We were planning this before they were splashed all over the news. If you polled every Republican in Sussex County, you’d probably be able to count on both hands the number people who have even heard of those guys.”