Is Wildwood the perfect place in New Jersey to hold a President Trump rally?
President Donald Trump held a “Keep America Great” rally Tuesday in a town known for its boardwalk culture – Wildwood.
Wildwood has often been described using some of the same adjectives others have used to describe Trump over the decades – colorful, loud and brash. And it is no surprise that in the line of thousands of Trump supporters outside the rally was longtime Republican Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano.
Troiano may be best known for banning saggy pants on the boardwalk.
“I had a lot of parents, a lot of grandparents who said, ‘I’m tired of looking at people’s rear ends. I’m not coming to your community,’” Troiano says. “It’s about decency.”
Troiano also faced some criticism for defending some Wildwood police officers who punched a woman in the head while arresting her on the beach and for paying single Kate Smith on the boardwalk after a controversy about her singing some racist songs.
“If you’re going to be yourself, be yourself,” Troiano says.
But, Troiano was recently voted out of office in November – losing to Democrat Pete Byron. Byron went door-to-door talking to the community, in a way Troiano admits he didn’t.
“I got taken out,” he says.
Wildwood, much like America, has changed over the years. The town has gone from 17% Hispanic in 2000 to 33% Hispanic in 2010.
News 12 New Jersey’s Brian Donohue says that amid all the talk about “making Liberals cry” and the “Us vs. Them” mentality he heard among some of the crowd waiting to get into the rally, he also found some hope in the form of two Wildwood locals – Bill, a Trump fan, and Joe, a Trump hater.” The two men are friends and decided to skip the rally and head to a bar to drink together – saying that their friendship means more than political differences.
Troiano, who had been in office for 20 years before losing in November, says that he plans to try to win back the office.