Donald Trump makes campaign stop in Columbus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Outside the Columbus Convention Center, vendors were hawking Campaign merchandise. “Hats, buttons, Hillary for prison t-shirts,” one called out to Trump supporters making their way to Monday’s town hall style campaign event.

Prior to the event, Trump stopped and talked to reporters about the limited amount of people the fire marshal would allow into the venue.

According to a Columbus Division of Fire spokesperson, many of the exits at the Greater Columbus Convention Center were not usable because of construction on the building.

The lack of exits is why the attendance at the rally was limited to 1,000 people, and a meeting was held last week with all parties involved with the campaign to discuss the issue, according to the spokesperson.

Ohio, and specifically Central Ohio, may be key to winning the White House in November. No surprise then that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton brought her campaign to Columbus on Sunday followed by Republican nominee Donald Trump on Monday afternoon.

Trump supporters traveled from around the seat to see him.

Brenda Johnson from Amelia was first in line at 12:30am. Johnson says she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and for Mitt Romney in 2012. She now believes Trump’s business acumen is what’s needed.

“We need to change up Washington because I’ve realized and a lot of people have, there’s a lot of corruption both on the republican and democratic side,” Johnson said.

For many Trump supporters, it’s their dislike of Hillary Clinton that’s the overriding factor in this election.

First time voter, 21 year old Tyler Baker of Cambridge was wearing a “Hillary for prison” t-shirt. “Just that whole email thing – that got me,” Baker said. “I just can’t get past it. And the whole Bengazi thing, just can’t get past it.”

John Kay of Reynoldsburg is a lifelong Republican and says he’s all in with Trump. “Anybody who’d vote for Hillary…I don’t know why,” Kay said “I mean all she does is lie.”

Brad Bostick showed up for the Event wearing a “Bikers for Trump” t-shirt. “Trump has said what everybody’s thinking and we’re tired of being politically correct,” Bostick said. “It’s time to get it out there.”

Recent college graduate Chris Poe says he was a support of Sen. Bernie Sanders but now supports Trump. Poe says the key issue for him is the impact of foreign trade agreements on blue collar families. Poe, who was active in Undergraduate Student Government at Kent State University says opposition to those trade agreements is why he now supports Donald Trump.

Carl Maerker, another lifelong Central Ohio Republican says it’s time to shake things up. “We need a change and we need a big change and I like the idea of him picking the Supreme Court justices.”


Tap here for information about attending the rally.

Reporter Ted Hart is following this story and will have the latest coming up on NBC4 at 5 and 6. For more stories right now, grab our free news app for iPhone or Android. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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