Country residents witness Trump Train in motion
By Daniel Arens
Energy and environmental issues have placed North Dakota squarely on the map of national politics. Most recently, Bismarck served as a station for the “Trump Train” that has been careening through the country.
For some residents of Mercer County, Trump’s appearance was too big an opportunity to miss. Support for the Republican frontrunner and curiosity of what Trump might have to say were the primary thoughts on people’s minds.
“I want to hear Trump without the media bias in there, I want to form my own opinion about what he’s saying,” Laurel Tviet, wife of Mercer County Commissioner Bill Tveit, said.
“I’m looking for some energy, a lot of energy,” former Hazen Mayor Mark Nygard said. “He wasn’t my first pick, but I’m on the wagon. Go Trump!”
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to see a likely presidential nominee,” said Fred Stern, Beulah. “It will be very interesting to see someone willing to speak his mind, who won’t be politically correct.”
“I think Trump is the answer to a lot of the problems we have in this country,” former Hazen resident Wayne Axtman said. “It’s a pleasure to be at a speech that he’s making.”
Trump’s appearance in North Dakota provided the Republican candidate with an opportunity to address how a Trump administration would address energy concerns, a vitally important issue for the state and for Mercer County.
“I want someone to support our industry, to support coal, to support Mercer County and petroleum,” Donn Steffen, Coteau Properties, said.
“I’m hoping to hear what he has to say about his energy policy,” said Duane Wolf, human resources, North American Coal. “We need those power plants to help hold down the cost of energy.”
“I’m hoping to hear what his plan is for oil and coal,” Hazen resident Shilo Kilber said.
Kilber noted that he also hoped Trump would touch upon the numerous foreign affairs challenges the nation faces, including relations with nations like Iran, Vietnam, and Cuba.
As Trump took the stage, he briefly addressed the importance of the state’s farming, before turning his attention to the primary concern Mercer County residents had expressed.
“You’re at the forefront of a new energy revolution,” Trump told the crowd.