Dozens of attendees at U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s rally were young supporters, including teens and college students.
Many already supported Cruz but wanted a chance to see the presidential candidate in person.
Greenwood resident Paul Annee met Cruz and took a selfie with the senator last week at Shapiro’s Delicatessen in Indianapolis. But Annee still was first in line at the rally Monday night.
“I knew I wanted to be front and center,” Annee, 19, said. “It’s important to go to these things to show your support. I’m very excited to be a part of this.”
Cruz noticed the young people in the crowd.
“Hillary (Clinton), Bernie (Sanders), take a look at all the young people,” Cruz said. “This is not your father’s GOP.”
Seventeen-year-old Paul Hedrick just decided to support Cruz last week, even though he will be too young to vote in the primary election.
“I’ve really been on the fence for a long time,” Hedrick said. “A couple of days ago, I really decided that I wanted to vote for someone who would stand up for my values as a person. That’s whenever I decided (on Cruz).”
Cruz’s views on immigration, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and repealing the Affordable Care Act are all similar to Hedrick’s stances, Hedrick said.
“He’s more of a well-rounded speaker, compared to the other candidates,” Hedrick said.
Tom Nelms thought the rally would benefit his 14-year-old daughter.
“My daughter’s getting extra credit (in school),” Nelms said. “Even though I don’t support Cruz so much, she needs to know the political process.”
“She still needs to get used to how this thing works. I don’t want to be raising a child that doesn’t understand how important this process is.”
Getting a good spot
After showing up to the fairgrounds at 4 p.m., Franklin resident Bud Knox walked up behind the first person in line to secure his place in the crowd at the rally.
“I was excited because I thought I’d be in a good spot,” Knox said.
Knox has kept an eye on U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz since 2013, when he was elected senator of Texas. Knox appreciates that Cruz is defending the constitution, and likes Cruz’s plan to improve the economy and create more jobs for Americans.
“I really like his morals. He’s a family man,” Knox said.
While waiting for the rally to begin, Knox bought a Ted Cruz hat and button from vendors waiting outside.
A long trip
Seymour teacher Debbie Atchison raced to Franklin immediately after school ended to get in line to see U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
Her father Ed Beltz just voted for Cruz earlier in the day and joined Atchison to see him in person.
Now, Atchison is the only member of her family who hasn’t voted for Cruz yet, she said.
“I’ve made up my mind,” Atchison said. “I’m kind of holding out for the hoopla on May 3.”
Atchison thought it was important to see the presidential candidate in person.
“I was afraid this might be my only opportunity,” Atchison said.