HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - It was a bit more crowded than usual in Huntington on Thursday, as the President of the United States is set to appear for a rally.
Before 7:00 P.M. Thursday, this 9,000 seat arena will be packed with people likely supporting Donald Trump, for the first visit of a sitting President to Huntington since the 2004 election 13 years ago.
Then-President George W. Bush spoke at a jobs conference at Marshall University.
Most have expected this to be a standard Trump campaign-style rally.
But even before he left Washington, Trump was giving reporters an idea of what he might talk about.
At a White House event Thursday morning, the President suggested he had something very important to announce to both the audience and the nation.
"We're going to West Virginia tonight by the way. We're going to have a very big announcement, which will be very exciting, I think, for the media and everyone else. Big announcement tonight. I believe I'll be making it in West Virginia, so that will be very
When the President is speaking in West Virginia, Huntington is a city in between two other states: Ohio and Kentucky. But it’s still an area where people socially, economically, and now politically, have a lot in common.
And while doors only opened at 4:00 P.M., hundreds of people braved the heat all day, waiting for the rally to start.
WTAP’s Brandon Lewis spoke to some of those people outside the arena before the rally, to see what they expect Trump to discuss.
Trump is the first President to visit the Mountain State since George W. Bush spoke in Huntington in 2004.
And people are coming from all over, places like Florida, Texas, even across the river in Ohio, to hear President Trump speak.
And most of the people I spoke to are here to support the current Administration.
We've been here at Big Sandy Superstore Arena since 11:30 Thursday morning.
There were dozens of people lined outside the entrance and as the day progressed, the line spilled out onto the street.
Some people we spoke to said they want the Affordable Care Act repealed and replaced, and also want to hear more about tax reform.
I also spoke to some people who want the President to look out for them and their issues.
“I just kind of expect him (Trump) to talk to West Virginia as a whole about how he has not forgotten about us, and he's going to bring coal back, and how's he going to work to reduce EPA regulations."
"I hope that they can just take away his love and things for us and the fact that we know he's in D.C. fighting for our values and what we believe in. I believe President Trump has the silent majority of people out here."
This is the second time President Trump has visited the Mountain State in 2 weeks.
Last week he spoke at the National Boy Scout Jamboree, where he brought politics to a historically partisan event.
The rally is set to start Thursday at 7:00 P.M.
We will be livestreaming the full rally on the WTAP Television Facebook page, at: https://www.facebook.com/wtaptelevision/
Todd Baucher and Brandon Lewis will have a wrap-up of everything that happened at the rally, and reactions from attendees and state politicians, tonight on WTAP News at 11.