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Minnesota rally-goers explain why they support Trump

A couple from Red Wing, Minn., wore T-shirts in support of Donald Trump outside the airplane hangar near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where a rally for the presidential candidate took place Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (Pioneer Press: Mara Gottfried)1 / 2
Bella Dangelo of Maple Grove wore a buttons bearing the words “I’m a … Adorable Deplorable!” and “Trump ’16 Put Another Brick in The Wall" to the rally for Donald Trump Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, at the Sun Country hangar at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. (Pioneer Press photo)2 / 2

RICHFIELD, Minn.—Hours before Donald Trump arrived in Minnesota for a hastily arranged rally, his fans were waiting to greet him.

About 9,000 people made it inside the Richfield airport hangar to see Trump's plane pull up and hear Trump speak to the crowd for about 40 minutes. At least twice that number did not make it inside.

Greeting those who made it to the hangar's entrance was Kevin Kintz, 64 of New Brighton. He handed out stickers that read: "Share a message with Hillary on her chances this Nov! Get a prison pants suit NOW!"

He encouraged all takers to post them in a men's restroom or bar.

Kintz, a disabled Army veteran who said he has been waiting for more than a decade for his benefits, said he once donated a dollar to President Obama "because I hated Hillary so much."

"I'm Trump all the way," he said, showing off his signed "Trump conductor" cap.

Wearing pins that read "I'm a ... Adorable Deplorable!" and "Trump '16 Put Another Brick in The Wall," Bella Dangelo said she never expected to get inside the rally, but made it closer to the hangar than she thought she would.

She assessed the crowd outside, saying the size was "pretty impressive, considering it's Minneapolis, Minnesota ... and this is a state that's so retarded, we didn't even vote for Reagan, for God's sake." The 49-year-old Maple Grove woman said she supports Trump "because he's finally someone that is fighting against the establishment."

The crowd outside also impressed Holly Schmidt of Isanti.

"I kind of thought there'd be a lot of people, but I didn't expect to see this many," she said.

Shuo Wang was outside the rally with his wife, who was wearing red, white and blue, and their 14-month-old daughter, who was waving an American flag.

The 30-year-old Vadnais Heights man said he loved the enthusiasm of the people who'd gathered to support Trump. He's been supporting Trump since he announced he was running for president. "I like the fact that he's been successful outside of politics," he said.

Wang's wife, Sofia Lopes, moved to the United States from Portugal two years ago. She has her green card but won't be able to vote on Tuesday since she's not a citizen; Wang, who came to the U.S. as a 7-year-old, is a citizen.

Lopes, 34, would vote for Trump, if she could.

"People say he's against immigrants, but it's against illegal immigrants," she said. "A lot of immigrants support Trump because they know how long it took them to get to be here and be legal and how much money they had to invest to do it the right way."

Estelle Senopole, 59, of Oakdale said she finds much to like about Trump, including his position on abortion, building up the military and his move to give "control back to the people." She has not loved everything he has said or done in his past but she cannot stand Clinton.

"I'm hoping and praying for him," she said, but she worries about cheating in the election. If he doesn't win, she was asked, will it be because of electoral cheats?

"Yeah," she said.

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