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Just back from Tulsa, Trump supporter makes trek to Yuma for presidential visit

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 21:24:30-04

YUMA, Arizona (KGTV) - Among those making the trek to to Yuma Tuesday for a presidential visit is a local man with a unique message of support.

"When I found out he was coming on Monday, I got the day off," said Blake Marnell.

Early Tuesday morning, Marnell woke up and made the drive from San Diego to Arizona. Despite sizzling temperatures, there was no debating his wardrobe choice.

"I've purchased my brick suit last year to show support for border security and strong borders," said Marnell.

In Yuma, just outside the Border Patrol station, Marnell stood and waited. This is Marnell's 11th time seeing President Trump in the past year or so. He just got back from the rally in Tulsa. During a rally in Pennsylvania last year, President Trump beckoned him and his border wall suit up to the stage.

On Tuesday in Yuma, there would be no in person meeting, only a fleeting glance at a motorcade during a visit to mark the 200th mile of border wall construction.

"I think it's important to visibly support the president. All I want to do is hold up my sign as he's arriving from the airport, and to thank him for all the work he's done to keep our country safe," said Marnell.

Marnell's journey to Donald Trump superfan status has been an unusual one. A disaffected voter, Marnell didn't vote in the November election in 2016, and didn't support Trump.

"Honestly I didn't think he was going to be effective," said Marnell.

He says that opinion quickly changed with President Trump's actions on issues like business tax rates and border security. On this day, his whirlwind political journey brought him to Yuma on a hot June day.

"We were clearly able to see the silhouette of the president in one of the limos ... He saw the supporters out here for him today, and we saw him," said Marnell.