Trump supporters open Dover campaign office

Donald Trump supporters gathered Monday for the opening of the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign headquarters in Dover. Kent County honorary campaign chairman Mike Harrington Sr., right, cut the ribbon with help from the campaign’s field director, Erick Slomkowski. The office is at 111 Loockerman St. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

Donald Trump supporters gathered Monday for the opening of the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign headquarters in Dover. Kent County honorary campaign chairman Mike Harrington Sr., right, cut the ribbon with help from the campaign’s field director, Erick Slomkowski. The office is at 111 Loockerman St. (Delaware State News/Matt Bittle)

DOVER — The Donald Trump for President campaign unveiled its Kent County headquarters Monday, and local campaign volunteers say the Republican candidate is likely to visit Delaware soon.

With the presidential primary now just seven days away, many Delawareans are hoping candidates visit the First State. It appears as though some may get their wish.

Supporters of Mr. Trump have been in touch with the campaign to request he host a rally in the state. While no date or location has been set, state campaign Chairman Rob Arlett is confident Mr. Trump will visit soon.

On Monday a small group of men and women gathered in downtown Dover at the new county headquarters for the Trump campaign. Honorary county campaign Chairman Mike Harrington Sr. christened the Loockerman Street location with a ribbon cutting, and hope was in the air for the supporters of Mr. Trump.

The office, located in a storefront at 111 Loockerman St., is plastered with Trump campaign signs, grabbing attention from passers-by.

The front window is covered completely by signs pledging to “Make American Great Again.” Inside, a cardboard cutout of Mr. Trump, former President Ronald Reagan and actor John Wayne greets people, while dozens of campaign signs are propped up against a wall.

Several tables are laid out in the room, where volunteers will spend time making phone calls to urge local residents to vote for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Harrington spoke briefly after cutting the ribbon and formally opening the county headquarters.

“This election is about, in my thoughts, the people that are fed up with government as usual,” he said. “We need a new leader, someone that walks and talks … the language of the silent majority.”

Erick Slomkowski, left, field director for Donald Trump’s campaign, joins Kent County honorary campaign chairman Mike Harrington Sr. for the opening of the Trump headquarters in Dover on Monday.

Erick Slomkowski, left, field director for Donald Trump’s campaign, joins Kent County honorary campaign chairman Mike Harrington Sr. for the opening of the Trump headquarters in Dover on Monday.

As Mr. Harrington revealed that local organizers believe Mr. Trump will come to Delaware, the volunteers cheered.

Possible locations for a visit include Dover Downs and the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center, although the former is likely too small.

Mr. Harrington said Mr. Trump has received an outpouring of support from Kent County residents. He spoke at a recent meeting of the Kent County Republican Party and received requests for more information from dozens of people, he said.

One of the volunteers present at the ribbon cutting was Sherry Carpenter of Hartly.

Ms. Carpenter, an ardent supporter who has volunteered for the Trump campaign for months, compared the United States to a horse running wild: “Trump is the only one that I know of that can make a 180-degree turn” back to the right path, she said.

She believes Mr. Trump is needed to defeat “Sharia law,” create jobs and strengthen the country.

“Anybody who’s got to be president right now has got to be in his heart a patriot,” she said.

With the primary looming, candidates have begun ramping up their efforts.

The Trump campaign opened offices in Dagsboro and Wilmington earlier this month. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont all unveiled headquarters in Wilmington within the past two weeks.

Political operatives say Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas does not appear to have a presence in the state.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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