Donald Trump Jr. campaigns for Tony Wied in De Pere, as supporters decide how to weigh a Trump endorsement

Donald Trump Jr. and Tony Wied
Posted at 2:38 AM, Jun 05, 2024

DE PERE (NBC 26) — Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a rally in De Pere Tuesday night for Tony Wied, a candidate for Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District who is endorsed by former president Donald Trump.

  • Donald Trump Jr. is campaigning for Tony Wied, who is endorsed by former president Trump.
  • Attendees at the De Pere event said they supported Trump, but not all said an endorsement would influence their vote.
  • Trump supporters said the former president's recent conviction would not dissuade them from voting for him.
  • The primary election is Aug. 13 and the general election is Nov. 5.

Wied is a businessman who previously owned and operated a gas station chain in Wisconsin. At the rally, he said he would focus on securing the border, lowering everyday prices and cutting government spending.
Supporters I met in the crowd Tuesday night told me they fully support Trump, so I asked whether a Trump endorsement would influence their votes.

"Yes, I think it would, because I've been voting for everyone he endorses," supporter Jodi Romenesko said. "But I still would like to know a little more about Tony Weid."

Robin Gold, Romenesko's cousin who attended the rally with her, had a bit of a different perspective on whether the endorsement would sway her vote.

"It would not," Gold said. "I would still look into what he has to say."

In 2022, Trump-endorsed candidates nationwide did not always go on to win their general elections. For example, Kari Lake in Arizona or Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania both won their respective primaries but lost to Democrats in the general election.

I asked Trump Jr. about how the endorsement could play out in the dairy state.

"There were some Trump-endorsed candidates across the nation who didn't go on to win the general election. Do you think the endorsement from your father still carries a positive weight in this?" I asked Trump.

"I think 100%," Trump responded. "Again, you see a warehouse on a Tuesday night, this packed in an early primary, I mean, that's that's a really big deal."

I posed a similar question to Wied.

"Why do you think a Trump endorsement could benefit you here in Wisconsin, when it hasn't always benefited candidates in other states?" I asked Wied.

"I think the overwhelming support of President Trump now is growing, and it's growing at a rapid rate," Wied said. "The more I talk to people, they are very supportive of President Trump now more than ever."

Wied is running in the August primary election against Republican state senator André Jacque and former state senator Roger Roth.

I asked his opponents how they felt about the endorsement.

"I don't really know what impact it will have because I think the key issue in this race is I'm the only candidate with a proven conservative record," Jacque said.

Roger Roth did not yet return our request for comment.

The winner of the primary election will face Democratic candidate Dr. Kristin Lyerly in the general election.

In a statement to NBC 26, Dr. Lyerly said, in part: "With the significant attention on this region, I am hopeful and confident that come November, our community will prioritize the best interests of our friends, families, and neighbors."

Last week, former president Trump was convicted of 34 felonies related to falsified business records in his hush money criminal trial.

Supporters I spoke to told me that didn't change their opinion on him.

"I don't believe he has done anything wrong," Trump supporter Mary Thom said. "He's the most incredible man we have."

Trump is set to be sentenced on July 11, just four days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

In the past few days, the former president has criticized the verdict and the legal system at large. Earlier this week, he warned of a potential "breaking point" for his supporters if he's sentenced to jail time.

I asked Trump Jr. about possible civil unrest after the sentencing.

"No one's advocating for civil unrest, but we also have to live in a system that actually is fair, right... No one wants civil unrest. You know, that's like a media sound bite. Oh, everyone's an insurrectionist, right?"

The primary for this race will take place Aug. 13 and the general election is Nov. 5.