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Bell County residents gather to watch the first presidential debate

Posted at 10:31 PM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 23:31:34-04

BLETON, TEXAS — At a Republican watch party in Belton Tuesday, all eyes were on their candidate, President Donald Trump.

“This was exciting to see how many people would come out and what’s happening in Bell County, Texas,” Kandee Bruening, a Trump supporter said. “And see what's happening all over the country is so exciting to see MAGA drag the interstate!”

Theatrical, exciting and important are just a few words local party leaders used to describe the tight race.

“I think everybody’s excited,” Bradford Holland, the Republican Party chair in McLennan County said. “There’s this fervor that people want to see our candidate and our ideas to go head-to-head on stage with the other side.”

Some community members told 25 News that our county is divided and hoped the debate would shine a light on everything from COVID-19 to the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We need to come together as a community, as a state, as people and as a county,” Charles McKnight, a retired veteran, said. “And right now that’s what I’m hoping for Biden, hopefully future president Biden, can bring for us.”

Others were eager to know what post-pandemic life will look like.

“I’m really looking for how the candidate is going to get the economy going after the pandemic,” David Butler, a Temple resident said. “What things can they do to stimulate the economy and get people eating out and traveling, like they did before. I think Donald Trump is capable of doing that.”

One man wanted transparency, something he feels President Trump lacks.

”I want to hear the truth, from both parties,” Rodney Martin, a Killeen resident said. “One guy, he lies everyday. We all know who that is, I don’t even need to say his name.”

Together, both parties stressed a common goal:

”Just vote, it’s critical. This is a time where the county needs everyone to vote,” McKnight said. “Come out your houses, come out your comfort zones and just vote.”

“The presidential choice we all make beginning on October 13, early voting, and extending to November 3, Election Day, is critically important,” Holland remarked.

Back at the Republican watch party, supporters cheered President Trump as he made remarks on issues like Obamacare and the pandemic.