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'Front Row Joes' get in line for Trump rally 24 hours before event

Trump supporters Cindy Hoffman (left) , of Independence, Iowa, and Travis Klinefelter of Dubuque, Iowa wave from the third level of the DECC parking garage Tuesday. The two are part of a group that travels to Trump rallies across the Midwest called Front Row Joes. Clint Austin / Forum News Service1 / 2
Trump supporters Travis Klinefelter (left) of Dubuque, Iowa and Austin Bayliss of Wellman, Iowa sit at the entrance of the skywalk to Amsoil Arena on the third level of the DECC parking garage Tuesday. Clint Austin / Forum News Service2 / 2

DULUTH, Minn.—The doors to President Donald Trump's rally aren't set to open until 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, but a group of five friends were already in line by 6 p.m. Tuesday. Why? Because they want to be in the front row at Amsoil Arena.

This group of friends — Kevin Murphy of Chaska, Minn., Travis Klinefelter of Dubuque, Iowa, Randal Thom of Lakefield, Minn., Cindy Hoffman of Independence, Iowa, and Austin Bayliss of Wellman, Iowa — call themselves the "Front Row Joes" because they show up early at Trump rallies all over the country to make sure they get to be in the front row. Combined, they've been to more than 100 Trump rallies from Pennsylvania to Michigan to Iowa and now Minnesota.

The group met each other at other Trump rallies and became instant friends. Murphy met the people from Iowa Tuesday, but he says you would never know.

"I've known Randal for a while and met everyone else (Tuesday), but it's like we've known each other for years," Murphy said.

Bayliss said this is the first time everyone else has been together as one group since the Iowa caucus.

"I'm not a big sports guy. I'm in to politics. So this is our tailgate," he said. "It's a long ways to come for this, but it's a fun time."

And what is the group most excited for most today? Giving Trump love and support, Hoffman said.

"It makes him happy, it gets him fired up and lets him know that we love him," she said.

Thom agreed.

"We call this our Trump love fest," he said. "It's fun for us."

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the night general assignments reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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