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Local ag community holds tractor parade

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A convoy of tractors prepares to depart from the parking lot of the Wool Bowl in Roswell Friday afternoon, as local agriculture producers display their support for President Donald Trump, less than two weeks before the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump carried Chaves County in 2016 against Democrat Hillary Clinton, 63 to 27%, according to data from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office. (Alex Ross Photo)

A pro-Trump tractor parade made its way through downtown Roswell Friday, eliciting waves and honks from bystanders.

A long line of tractors, cutters, combines and pickup trucks displaying Trump flags and campaign signs for down ballot Republicans moved slowly but steadily from the Wool Bowl parking lot and south on North Grand Avenue before moving onto East College Boulevard and then left onto South Main Street.

State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, was on an antique tractor leading the throng of farm machinery along the route. He said the parade was an idea some area farmers thought up and set the date for about three weeks earlier.

Rural and small town voters have been a reliable source of backing for President Donald Trump. According to the Pew Research Center, he carried that bloc of voters 62 to 34% over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Pirtle said part of that loyalty is because of the conservative views Trump has espoused, but also he made them a priority through his push to revamp trade deals to create a more level playing field for farmers.

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“From the beginning of his campaign, he has made it clear that farmers and ag producers are no longer going to be last on the list whenever it comes to global trade,” he said.

Pirtle said the event also doubles as a protest of sorts against the public health orders Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, has put in place to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Limiting the spread, Pirtle said, should be done by individuals taking precautions.

“Do the things you can do to keep yourself safe, but we can only stay locked up in our basement for so long before people start losing everything,” Pirtle said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301 or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.