President-elect Donald J. Trump stopped in Lynden early during his campaign, and was greeted by thousands of supporters and hundreds of protesters at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds.
The May 7 event was peaceful overall, though tense at times as both sides squared off across from each other – chanting and yelling – on Kok Road on a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon. Protesters also were on Front Street and three were cited when they tried to block Trump’s motorcade on Guide Meridian south of Lynden.
More than 5,000 people were able to get inside to see Trump speak at the grandstand, while hundreds more were turned away because of capacity.
Trump’s appearance in Lynden drew people from around the region, and his stop marked the first time in more than a decade that a candidate from one of the two major parties campaigned in Whatcom County.
On Nov. 7, 2003, Democrat Dennis Kucinich spoke at Western Washington University during a campaign swing through the state. A few years earlier, on Feb. 25, 2000, Democrat Bill Bradley held a rally at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal during his primary race against fellow Democrat Al Gore.
Local law enforcement and other agencies from Western Washington helped provide security – at a total cost of $306,000, with $129,000 of that for different agencies in Whatcom County.
Whatcom County government sent a letter to the Trump campaign and Republican organizers, asking that its share of the costs be reimbursed but hasn’t received a response.