Trump wins New York primary, uses Buffalo as last stop to rally over 11,000 people
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used Buffalo Monday night as his last campaign stop and a chance to ignite a crowd of over 11,000 people before winning the New York Republican primary.
Trump took 62 percent of the vote and 59 delegates, leaving his opponents Ohio Governor John Kasich with 24 percent and 23 delegates, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas with 14 percent and 14 delegates, according to The New York Times.
Trump needs 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination.
Trump was the last politician to come to Buffalo before the New York primaries. Candidates Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made stops in the Queen City in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary.
“I have only been a politician for nine months,” Trump said at the Buffalo rally. “Look how much support I already have.”
Trump openly derided the other candidates, referring to Cruz as “Lying Ted Cruz” and Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary,” while lambasting their platforms.
Trump stirred up the crowd insisting that the U.S. military should defeat ISIS and “stop playing games.” He said he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, protect the Second Amendment and get rid of Common Core education standards, an idea particularly popular with Western New York voters.
He spoke about trade deals and reiterated his promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stop illegal immigration. Supporters, protestors and those curious to hear the Republican frontrunner speak drove hours and arrived at the center as early as 2 a.m. Monday.
Rebecca Zielinski drove two hours from Livonia to see Trump after being turned away from Trump’s rally in Rochester on April 10. She, along with a family member, came four hours early to ensure they were able to see the candidate.
Zielinski said she supports Trump because “he knows what he’s doing.”
“I feel like none of the other candidates know what they’re doing,” Zielinski said. “He’s a businessman who gets things done and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.”
Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Trump and mentioned Trump’s short-lived ownership of the New Jersey Generals from 1984 and 1985, before the candidate took the podium.
Republican Congressman Chris Collins, who represents the 27th District, which includes Lancaster and Geneseo, spoke at the rally. Collins was one of the first members of Congress to support Trump. Collins noted that the event was the largest indoor rally held for Trump and he believes Trump will bring “real change.”
“If you like Obama, you’re going to love Hillary,” Collins said. “America cannot afford another four years of a socialist and progressive government.”
Trump greeted the crowd of 11,400 people explaining he knows what “New York values” are, unlike his opponent Cruz. He said “honesty” and “straight talking” exemplify those New York values.
Trump said New York firefighters, police and transit workers don’t get “enough credit” and accidentally referred to the 9/11 terror attacks as “7/11.”
“Because I was down there and I watched our police and our firemen down on 7/11 down at the World Trade Center right after it came down,” Trump said. “And I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.”
Eli Cobti, a Buffalo resident that works for the Erie County Republicans, supports trump because he believes the candidate will “bring the change this country needs.”
“He has experience with building businesses so that can only translate to good foreign relations,” Cobti said.
Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman and founder of Ellicott Development Company, also spoke at the event and mentioned Trump’s proposal to build the Mexican wall four times.
Paladino said he believes in Trump because he believes Trump isn’t going to “apologize for America” or try to “appease” world leaders.
But Trump wasn’t able to get through his speech without interruptions.
Buffalo Police ejected 21 people from the arena and arrested six.
Before Ryan introduced Trump, an announcement over the loudspeaker said police would remove anyone protesting inside during the event. Event-goers were asked to alert the police if they saw signs or protests inside.
“The protestors are being rowdier than the supporters,” said Alex Johns a junior civil engineering major. “It kind of caught me off-guard.”
Eric Rigg, a senior at Niagara University, protested outside with the Western New York Peace Center.
He said he wanted to demonstrate how Trump’s policies are not as “sound” as people think.
“The Trump supporters are not understanding,” Rigg said. “They’re not paying attention.”
Most UB students interviewed said they were there just for the experience, but were not planning to vote for Trump.
“Anti-fascism is something I care about deeply,” said David Glotzer, a senior economics major. “I would like to, for journalistic purposes, come and see what an actual event at a Trump rally is like because there is a lot of proto-fascist elements in the Trump movement.”
Tori Roseman is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org