While former President Donald Trump was not in the room for Wednesday's Republican Presidential Debate, you still would have found some familiar faces inside the Fiserv Forum beyond those on the stage.
Door County Republican Party Chairperson Stephanie Soucek was among the 4,000 people in attendance for the first debate of the 2024 Presidential election cycle that featured eight candidates including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. All eight candidates trail Trump massively in the polls with the former President averaging more than 50 percent support.
Soucek says the energy you may have heard on television was very apparent all night long with many people, including herself, attending their first-ever presidential debate. Except for one detour addressing Trump, the debate mainly focused on the issues, something Soucek appreciated.
Soucek admits however that race at this point feels like everyone is trying to come in second place to Trump.
Even with the bickering that occurred on stage at certain points of the evening, Soucek says watching the debate in person was a much more enjoyable experience than viewing it at home. The next Republican Presidential Debate is scheduled for September 27th at the Ronal Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in California.
Pictures courtesy of Stephanie Soucek
First Picture: In the middle is RPW chairman Brian Schimming, and to the right is Pam Van Handel, chair of Outagamie County.
Second Picture: Debate stage