Let’s Go Brandon Rally takes place in Brandon, Vt.
BRANDON, Vt. (WCAX) - “Let’s Go Brandon” is a phrase Republicans have made popular in recent weeks. On a national scale, the conservative chant was created to mock President Joe Biden. Saturday, the Green Mountain State’s new GOP chair organized a rally in a Vermont town with the same namesake.
“I’m out here to support Paul and to support the Republican party to stop Communism and to give us our rights back,” said Tracy Abata of Brandon.
Newly elected Vermont GOP Chair Paul Dame hosted the rally one week after he filled the seat.
“What happened today was exactly what I had planned from the beginning. We want to take the irritation people have and push it into a positive direction, and I think we did that,” said Dame.
Around 150 people showed up, and supporters say they’re there for Dame and to see where he takes the local Republican party.
“We’re out here to support the Republicans and hopefully put some pressure on these politicians to turn things in the right direction,” said Kevin Farrell of Londonderry.
The rally and its controversial origins caused some backlash this week, but Dame says it’s an opportunity to support the town of Brandon.
“Seeing folks going out to restaurants filling their gas tank, doing some shopping – we’re having a positive local impact, and we’re channeling people’s frustration into a positive direction moving forward,” said Dame.
Another group arrived at the Let’s Go Brandon rally to remind folks that, no matter your political affiliation, Brandon is a town worth celebrating. Those individuals did not identify themselves as counter protesters.
“So what were here doing is celebrating the town. So any other reason other than celebrating the town and how wonderful it is, I don’t see any reason to talk about,” said Joshua Collier of Brandon.
The local gathered at the gazebo in costumes and colors to send the message that love is stronger than hate.
“We need to get over the anger, we need to get past the anger, and we need to have love again, and that’s all it is -- we need love and happiness and kindness,” said Richie Stallard of Brandon,.
Dame shared goals he has for the Vermont GOP, like redrafting the party platform and getting more Vermonters involved to eventually reach a Republican majority in the legislature.
He says sharing the space with an opposing group is welcomed.
“They don’t want to be a part of our message, and I understand that, but if they still want to do good for Brandon, I 100% support them,” said Dame.
Both groups say they will be donating proceeds from each event to local charities.
The new Vermont Democratic Party Chair Anne Lezak, who was elected Saturday, wrote in a statement to Channel 3 News on the rally, saying, “This is the kind of cheap trick that someone who lacks a real message resorts to. I happen to be familiar with and fond of the Town of Brandon. I expect few townspeople gave this the time of day. Neither did we Democrats.”
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