Republican activists are planning to hold a rally in support of President Donald Trump on Jan. 11 in Joliet.
Supporters have planned multiple pro-Trump demonstrations since House Democrats voted to impeach him. The rally in Joliet will be held at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Larkin Avenue from 10 a.m. until noon.
Members of Freedom Movement USA, a political action committee, are organizing the rallies. The Joliet demonstration is one of many activists are planning throughout the Midwest in the coming weeks.
The PAC also announced rallies in Algonquin on Saturday; Temperance, Michigan, on Jan. 9; and Martinsville, Indiana, on Jan. 10.
Brandon Harris, founder of Freedom Movement USA and the chairman of the Will County Young Republicans, said the president’s supporters have become energized since the impeachment vote.
Harris pointed to an earlier demonstration Dec. 21, not long after Trump’s impeachment, as evidence of that vote galvanizing supporters of the president. He called the impeachment a “complete distraction” and said it was inspiring young people – and even some Democratic voters – to join their demonstrations.
“They feel that the impeachment has pretty much handed us a red wave,” he said.
Harris said they initially expected the Dec. 21 rally to attract between 100 and 200 participants, but between 650 and 1,000 showed up. Even local candidates for public office, including Illinois House candidate Tim Ozinga and Will County Executive candidate Nick Ficarello showed up.
Harris acknowledged that Joliet was a “Democratic stronghold,” but said the energy he’s seen since Trump’s impeachment could help turn out more Republican votes in the 2020 election. He said many voters he’s spoken with were tired of the impeachment proceedings continuing to overtake other important issues and costing money.
Similar to the rally in Frankfort, Harris said he is expecting hundreds of the president’s supporters to show up Jan. 11 in Joliet.
“We’re just pulling support that is massive and we’re just going to run with it,” he said.