Hundreds — if not 1,000 or more — East Texas Republicans gathered Saturday in a pasture off FM 58 following the latest Trump flag parade around Lufkin.
The event was the third rally held on David and Kourtney Frankens’ property in the last seven days. This movement began Monday afternoon and has grown significantly from a few dozen, to a few hundred and more attendees, David Frankens said.
“Today, I don’t know what the account is, but it’s pretty massive,” he said.
“I think it shows a lot of support, a lot of sincerity. I see more sincerity than support because I think people are concerned at large, confused perhaps there’s sort of a fear of the unknown.”
He enjoyed seeing how happy his visitors were.
The rally was highlighted by the Trump flag fairy/ninja/hero, who departed shortly after posting an American flag to a tree top and speeches by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, state Rep. Trent Ashby and state Board of Education member Dr. Keven Ellis, who encouraged attendees to vote.
“Get out and vote, bring everybody that hasn’t voted that you have found out to vote and monitor the polling places, we need poll watchers who are properly trained,” Gohmert said before going on stage.
“We’re not in as much danger of fraud in East Texas as we are in big cities. Of course that’s why I love being here in East Texas ... good people.”
On stage, Gohmert discussed how much he loves East Texas and told the crowd that the persecution of Christianity is growing.
Jason Harrison, who said he was a proud 76-year-old man from Nacogdoches, ran up to Gohmert in a red buttoned-down shirt, sequined blue tie and Make America Great Again hat to thank him for his service as a representative. He follows both Gohmert and Trump avidly and was thrilled with Gohmert’s behavior while Congress was in session, he said.
“I love Trump, I love Louie. That man there,” Harrison said gesturing to Gohmert, “has done more, or at least as much as, anybody ever has. It’s people like him and Trump that will make this country come back around.”
Haley Havard said she is an avid Trump supporter and was there to support him, despite the hate he receives.
“We’re here to support him. To show him we love him. We vote for him. We want our country to stay the way it is. We don’t want to be socialists,” she said. “He is for America. He is for America first. He is putting the working class people up front and foremost where I feel like Biden is not.”
She believes Biden is getting rid of the oil industry and is not OK with that. Her husband is a pipeliner for a gas company and losing that work would affect her family, her children.
“Trump is working for us,” she said.
Ashby said nobody could look at the crowd gathered on the Frankens property and not be inspired by their movement.
“We are just hours away from one of, if not the most, critical elections of our lifetime,” Ashby said. “All we need to do to make and keep America great and to make and keep Texas great and to make and keep Angelina County great is to vote our morals and our values.”
Ashby pointed to the good work he believes Gohmert does, and said that state representatives needed similar support as they fight to maintain control of the Texas Legislature in Austin.
“The majority party of the Texas House for the last 20 years has been the Republican party,” Ashby said. “But folks, the Democrats are nine seats away from flipping authority and taking it. This election is so critical to keeping a Republican House, Senate and, of course, all of our statewide elected officials.”
Ellis took a poll of who was voting Democrat versus Republican and was met by cheers from the hundreds of Republicans and silence with no vocal Democrats in the crowd. He told attendees they would not want Democrats in control of the State Board of Education.
He encouraged voters to vote Republican from the White House to the school house.
“There’s no way to really over emphasize the importance of this election,” Lufkin attorney Bob Flournoy told the crowd after Ellis exited the stage.
“It’s our responsibility to tell people. There are so many people who don’t go vote at all or they don’t know who to vote for. Well, if they know you, they better know who to vote for and you better see that they go on Tuesday to vote.
“Our country is at stake. It’s do or die time folks.”