About 200 people lined up outside the Ronan Community Center Saturday for what many said was their first political rally.
Headlining the event, which was hosted by the Lake County Republican Women, was Donlad Trump, Jr., son of President Donald Trump.
Preceeding Trump on stage were U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, State Auditor Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Democrat U.S. Senator Jon Tester for his seat, U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte, who is seeking reelection, vying against Kathleen Williams, a Democrat, and Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Waiting in line outside prior to the doors opening was Ronan resident Charles Laurm.
Laurm said that he was excited to attend the rally so that he could be better informed when he goes to vote next week.
“This is my first time” at a rally, he said, adding that while he supports Tester, he came across voting literature and was unsure of how to vote.“This might help me make up my mind.”
The rally was announced earlier in the week, as the group made their way in Kalispell before their Ronan stop, then venturing to Missoula on Saturday.
“I didn’t know this was going on,” Laurm said, noting that his employer reserved a ticket for him to attend.
Keeping a watchful eye were four Ronan Police officers and the chief of police, and four Lake County Sheriff’s deputies as well as Sheriff Don Bell.
Sjann Vincent, president of the Lake County Republican Women and chairperson of the Lake County Central Committee, said that law enforcement was “wonderful” to work with in preparations for the rally.
“It was incredible the amount of work that went into this,” Vincent said, explaining that she began receiving calls from the Secret Service several weeks ago.
“(Ronan Police) Chief Weaver did the first walk-through with me” and the Secret Service, Vincent said, adding that Weaver took care of parking requests that were made.
“The logistics is easy; the difficulty is making sure we have enough staffing to cover the event,” Weaver said Tuesday.
Good working relationships with LCSO and other agencies in Lake County is appreciated by Weaver, he added.
Representatives from the tour told Vincent that should the opportunity present itself to visit Ronan again, they will work to make it happen.
She also noted that while Polson usually hosts larger events, it was “nice” to host the rally in Ronan.
“Polson has a lot to offer, but it’s nice when Ronan can step up to the plate and take some of the burden,” Vincent said.