GOP plans MAGA rally on Saturday in Brattleboro

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BRATTLEBORO — A small group of Republicans and conservatives is hosting what they are calling a "MAGA rally" at Pliny Park in downtown Brattleboro Saturday.

The rally, said Richard Morton, chairman of the Windham County Committee for the GOP, is to support Pres. Donald Trump's re-election and to make their voices heard. While he expects about 25 people, he is hoping for some new faces, too.

"There are a good number of people in Windham County who are closet Republicans or conservatives, or they are Second Amendment supporters or pro-life," said Morton. He wants these people to know they're not alone in a county that is dominated by Democrats and progressives.

"We are not ashamed," he said. "We are happy to do it and proud to be out there."

Morton believe this year will be "a good building year" for the Windham County Committee for the GOP.

"We are using this MAGA rally as a starting point," he said. "We plan on holding these each month through the election."

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The committee has reserved Pliny Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., said Morton, though he expects most of the flag and sign waving will occur between 11 a.m. and noon. Morton will be handing out flyers during the rally for anyone who wants to learn more about the GOP in Vermont. He is also inviting people to come wave signs in support of the Brattleboro Police Department.

He said if you're a Republican but don't support the president, "Don't come to the rally."

Morton understands he might be met by counter-protestors.

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"We are in a contentious election year," he said. "Ive been telling everyone to just smile and wave. We're here to present our point of view, not to intimidate people or have a confrontation."

Morton acknowledged the GOP hasn't been as good as the other side in getting into the public space and having their voices heard.

"The Democrats and the progressives are very dedicated at being in the public space. They have done that well," he said. "We're not so good at that. We're the quiet, patriotic, go-about-your-own-business, strong and individually minded people. It takes a lot to rile us up."

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Nonetheless, Morton believes that the GOP is in a good place to expand its representation in Windham County.

"The Democrats and progressives, all they can do is lose ground," said Morton. "All we can do is gain. I've been saying the worst Republican is better than some of the crazy ideas we are getting in our Legislature right now."

Since Mike Hebert of Vernon bowed out in 2018, the Windham County delegation to the Vermont Legislature has no Republicans in it.

Morton said some conservatives and Republicans agree with Gov. Phil Scott on some issues and disagree with him on others.

"Just like the Democrats, we have a whole host of voters who agree and disagree on issues," he said.

Bob Audette can be contacted at raudette@reformer.com.


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