Joyce Link, 74, and her friend Glenda Feazel, 75, said they have supported Donald Trump since the beginning of his campaign.
The Sunbury residents arrived early Friday at the Coliseum of the Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Ave., where the Republican presidential nominee was to speak for the first time since the final debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas against his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, Wednesday night.
Honesty, Link said, is the main issue of the election.
“Politicians are not as honest as they should be.”
Trump came on stage, which featured the American flag behind the podium, at 12:34 p.m. after the rally kicked off with a prayer, pledge of allegiance and the national anthem and a few speakers.
“(I) would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supports and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election,” he said.
“If I win.”
During the debate Trump refused to say that he will accept the results if he lost the election to Clinton.
“I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” he told the debate moderator.
For more than half an hour, Trump attacked Clinton based on leaked emails from her top campaign adviser on Wikileaks and touched on topics including illegal immigration, trade deals and national security.
“Either we win this election or we are going to lose this country,” he said.
He and Clinton, who visits Cleveland on Friday, are virtually tied for Ohio at 45 percent, followed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 6 percent and Green party candidate Jill Stein at 1 percent, according to Quinnipiac poll released Monday.
Former President Bill Clinton’s visited Delaware last Friday to sway voters for his wife’s bid to the presidency. Delaware County traditionally votes Republican — it gave 61 percent of its votes to Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 and 59 percent to John McCain in 2008.
“We want and we need Donald J. Trump to become the next President of the United States,” said State Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, who initiated several chants including “lock her up” in reference to Clinton, “jobs” and “Trump.”
Link and Feazel still support Trump, who bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone, according to a video obtained by The Washington Post, followed by accusations of such acts by 10 women.
“I’m not here to judge his problems, but what he can do for the country,” Link said.
Link said Trump did a good job at the debate by calling out Clinton whenever she pivoted on questions about the her foundation and hacked emails that show her striking a different tone in private than in public regarding Wall Street banks and trade.
“I can not stand Hillary,” Feazel said.
Trump urged rally attendants to vote early, which began last week. About 5,466 votes were received from mail and in-person ballots of Delaware County, according to Karla Herron, director of the county’s board of elections.
Similar to the Bill Clinton rally, she said, there was a rush of early in-person voting at the board of elections office after the Trump rally.
About 1,500 people were allowed inside the building for the rally, said Delaware police Capt. Adam Moore.
“There were quite a few people turned away,” he said, because the crowd size had reached the building’s capacity.
Additionally, there were few medical-related emergencies at the rally because of the heat in the building or standing in line too long, Moore added.
In response to Trump’s visit, the Clinton campaign hosted a rally Friday afternoon at its downtown Delaware office.
“Donald Trump’s visit to Delaware County is obviously a response to increasing support for Hillary Clinton’s vision for an America that is stronger together,” said Delaware County Democratic Chairman Ed Helvey in a statement. “Meanwhile, my neighbors are increasingly seeing Trump as a terrible role model for children and have been vocal about rejecting his divisive and hateful campaign.”
Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.