QUINCY — Nathan Purnell has been to 157 Donald Trump rallies. His cousin, Reggie Purnell, has attended around 140.
Those two men, along with Reggie’s brother Bobby Purnell, are operating two merchandise booths on Broadway — one in the former Shopko parking lot at 33rd and Broadway, one in a lot next to Quincy Mack, 5014 Broadway. They’re still in Quincy three days selling T-shirts, hats and other souvenirs after Saturday’s “Save America!” rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Mendon.
Reggie, the family spokesman, gave an answer before a question was asked.
“Why do we vote for Trump, and why do we support Trump, and we are black Americans?” he said. “Because I’m a veteran. I used to be an Army veteran … used to be in the Navy. And Bobby, he used to be locked up. And Trump, when he made his policies, (The First Step Act) made him get out of (prison) earlier. So, when he came out, he said, ‘Trump ain’t a bad guy.’”
Entrepreneurship is nothing new to Reggie. He owned three food trucks in their hometown of Greensboro, N.C.
The Purnells generally stay around two weeks at each stop. They say Quincy has treated them well.
“Great sales. Great people. Great atmosphere,” Reggie said. “I think people in Quincy are 85 percent Trump supporters. We have had very few negative vibes.”
Only about 35 percent of the merchandise is Trump-related. The rest covers a range of topics from gun rights to anything anti-Biden.
When asked about the profanity on some of the merchandise, Reggie said, “No comment.” Later he responded, “If we get a couple of complaints, we will take it out from public view.”
The Purnells say they donate 10 percent of their earnings to Trump’s “campaign or cause.” When asked if they had a permit, Reggie responded, “They have all the permissions.” Sales tax is charged on credit card transactions.
The Purnells plan to head home for the Fourth of July weekend, but it won’t be long before they are on the road again.
“We’ve seen all the support and the love, and how the people treat us, and we enjoy it,” Reggie said. “And we will continue to do it.”
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