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Trump Fundraiser At Bolingbrook Attracts Mixed Response

Tony Arnold/WBEZ

Donald Trump visited a Chicago suburb Wednesday to raise money for his presidential campaign.

The GOP nominee’s motorcade entered the Bolingbrook Golf Club through a back entrance and avoided the “Peaceful Demonstration Zone.”

About 150 protestors booed guests who entered the event, including Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar.

Demonstrator Ryan Miller is part of a Sousaphones Against Hate, a group that proceeded to play Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

“I think it’s really disappointing that the mayor would do this, and bring this fella to this town,” he said.

About 50 Trump supporters also stood outside the fundraiser.

The two groups confronted each other over immigration policy, but both sides remained peaceful.


“We’re just taking advantage of our time to see him since we couldn’t see him at the rally when he was in Chicago,” said supporter Judy Gardner.  She was referring to a March rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago that was canceled when fights between Trump supporters and demonstrators had broken out before Trump ever took the stage.

“I don’t know why he bothers with Illinois to be honest. I really don’t. They’re all losers here,” said Gardner, referring to Illinois’ history of voting in favor of the Democratic presidential nominee.

That’s a perception Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider is fighting. He was inside the fundraiser and said Trump asked if he had a chance of winning Illinois.

“I said, ‘Well, Illinois is a very difficult state to win in presidential election.’ I can’t remember the last time we won for a Republican in a presidential race."

But Schneider also believes the state could be in play for Trump, because of his broad support in Southern Illinois and fact that Republicans who previously resisted his candidacy are coming around.

Schneider said Todd Ricketts attended the Bolingbrook fundraiser. The Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs.  They supported primary ads opposing Trump, but have since committed to spending $1 in favor of him. .


“I think they’re warming up to the message of Donald Trump. He’s become more presidential as this has gone on,” Schneider said of Illinois Republicans who haven’t supported Trump so far. “They’re also saying our alternative is a scandal-ridden Democratic nominee and I’ve got a choice to make.”