Trump’s stump bus stops in Troy

Published 8:06 pm Thursday, February 18, 2016

Harold Reddock was on hand for the Trump Stump Bus visit in Troy.

Harold Reddock was on hand for the Trump Stump Bus visit in Troy.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s tour bus pulled into downtown Troy around 10 a.m. Thursday. Several campaign workers quickly set up tables with campaign materials while others shook hands with supporters who filtered in and out picking up “Trump: Make America Great Again!” bumper stickers and yard signs.

Others stayed for the festivities including a pump-up about Trump and joined in the Pledge of Allegiance to Old Glory.

Kolby Helms, a young voter, likes Trump because he is forceful. Ingrid Richard, an adult voter, appreciates the fact that Trump dares to speak what others only think. Both agreed, that Donald Trump is a colorful candidate and a serious candidate for president of the United States of America.

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Alabama has always enjoyed colorful characters.

That’s the reason political analyst Steve Flowers sees Alabama casting 40 percent of its votes to Donald Trump in Alabama’s Republican primary on March 1, just as he expects South Carolina voters to do on Saturday.

Flowers was among those who visited Trump’s Tour Bus that made the short stop in downtown Troy.

Flowers was there early to visit with his friend, Perry Hooper, who is Trump’s Alabama campaign manager. The two of them served together in the Alabama House of Representatives for about 16 years.

While Hooper is actively involved in the presidential campaign, Flowers is on the outside looking in.

“This is the most unusual presidential campaign that I have ever seen,” Flowers said. “In Alabama, we like colorful characters and Donald Trump is a colorful character. He’s George C. Wallace and ‘Big Jim’ Folsom all rolled into one. At first, Trump was a fad but he’s not fading. He’ll get 35 to 40 percent of Alabama’s votes.”

Hooper agreed with his longtime friend and said he’s often asked, “Perry O., what for?”

“Donald Trump makes sense,” he said. “He’s saying what everybody else is thinking.”

Hooper’s dad is the senior Perry Hooper who was Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, from 1995-2001. So, Hooper is no stranger to politics. He has been involved in politics all his life.

“When I told my mom that I was going to be involved with Trump’s Alabama campaign, she didn’t think too much of the idea,” Hooper said. “She said Donald Trump doesn’t say nice things about people. But she’s learned that what he says makes a lot of sense. Now she’s one of his biggest supporters.”

While some voters are concerned that Trump is too vocal and talks too tough, Hooper said the United States needs a “Mean Joe Green in the White House.”

The Trump tour bus belongs to Tommy Shaw of Elmore County who said Donald Trump is the presidential candidate who can “Make America Great Again.”

He predicted that Trump will get 44 percent of the Alabama vote on March 1.

“We’ll travel the length and breadth of this state helping him get it,” Shaw said. “I call him Donald right now. Soon, Mr. President.”