About 90 people gathered at one of Ketchikan’s downtown cruise ship docks in support of President Donald Trump and other Republicans. The event was held this past Saturday and included a rally and vehicle parade.

The pavilion near Berth 4 was decorated with a large American flag and signs supporting President Trump, Representative Don Young, Senator Dan Sullivan, and former Ketchikan School Board member Leslie Becker, the Republican nominee for House District 36.

Senator Sulllivan, who is up for reelection, phoned in from Washington, D.C. to encourage Republicans to vote.

“We can either continue on this positive agenda that we have going right now – rebuilding our military, access to our lands like the Tongass (National Forest), rebuilding our Coast Guard, stationing icebreakers here, enhancing tourism – or we can empower the radical left that has a clear anti-Alaska agenda,” he said.

Becker also addressed the crowd encouraging voters to elect all the Republican candidates and to send her to Juneau to represent District 36.

Borough Mayor Rodney Dial addresses the crowd at a Republican rally in Ketchikan October 24 (KRBD staff photo by Maria Dudzak).

“I want to tell you that I’m a very conservative Republican. I’m fiscally responsible. I had a lot of business background. And I know government isn’t exactly like running a business, but we need accountability in how our funds are being applied and how we’re using them, and we need to have our departments have some performance expectations so we don’t continue to fund a deficit,” she told the crowd.

People were spread out throughout the pavilion and parking area. A handful wore masks.

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Mayor Rodney Dial spoke against public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had numerous groups tell us we need to lock our town down. We’ve had numerous groups say that we need a mask mandate. We’ve had numerous people say they want mandatory quarantine for all people coming into this town, including locals, in the hotel under guard. And I said ‘that’s obviously unconstitutional,’” he said.

Laura Antonsen is the House District 36 Republican chair. She says President Trump views people as “individuals in a free society.” With amens from the crowd, Antonsen said that rights come from God, not the government.

“If they did, then our rights would be ever up for changes due to the capricious nature of humans and their ideals as time changes. And they can be changed on the whim of a moment or by a mob,” she said.

After the rally, vehicles decorated with flags and campaign signs lined up for a parade that headed south through town and then returned north. Thirty-five vehicles, including Rodney Dial’s British Saracen armored car, plus two motorcycles participated.