Republican Senator Ted Cruz made a presidential campaign stop in Johnson County on Wednesday. He is stopping in Kansas following his three-state Super Tuesday win.
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Cruz visits popular Kansas City restaurant before rally
If you ask residents of Johnson County what they think about Ted Cruz, you'll get an array of answers.
But if you ask them what they think about Joe's Kansas City, you'll get a similar answer-- it's great.
"It's the best of everything under one roof," said Von Knorning. "That's why you come to Joe's."
On Wednesday, the local hot spot's Olathe location will serve Cruz, who is stopping by for a bite to eat before a rally later at night.
— Ariel Rothfield KSHB (@arothfield) March 2, 2016
"He's a busy guy and he has a rally to go to. After he has his bar-b-que, we'll try to finish a table for him so he doesn't have to stand in line too long," said Doug Worgul, director of marketing for Joe's Kansas City.
Olathe police have increased security in and around the restaurant.
Cruz courts Kansans
More than a thousand Kansans spent their Wednesday night listening to Cruz lay out his plans for becoming the next president of the United States.
The crowd cheered as he took the stage at Johnson County Community College, promising to undo what President Obama has done over the last seven years.
Wow -- what a welcome to Kansas! Let's come together, win the Republican nomination, and take back the White House! pic.twitter.com/0rdMaN2OhV
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 3, 2016
“If I am elected President, we will repeal Obamacare, we’ll adopt a simple flat tax, we’ll abolish the IRS, we’ll pull back the regulators that are hammering small businesses," Cruz told the media prior to his speech. "We will stop amnesty and secure the borders."
Some came as supporters and said his speech solidified their belief in him.
“If you liked Ted Cruz before, you love him now," said supporter Doug Shipe. "The man spoke for a half hour, no notes, no teleprompter, straight from the heart."
Others said they still aren't sold. Bethany Duber calls herself "Anti-Trump."
— Lexi Sutter (@LexiSutterTV) March 3, 2016
“I’m not sure about Cruz," Duber said. "I think there are some things I like about him, some things I don’t, but it’s really for me the lesser of all evils, and I think Trump is the greatest evil."
One Kansas mother drove four hours with her small children to see Cruz speak.
"He hasn’t changed his position on anything," said Jennifer Wallman. "He’s been honest. He hasn’t been dirty with any of the other candidates. I don't worry about anything he will say in front of my children."
Cruz ended by asking Kansans and his fellow GOP candidates to back him in order to defeat Donald Trump.
“It is my hope that in the aftermath of last night we’ll continue to see more and more unity and more and more candidates coming together and more voters,” Cruz said.
The Kansas caucus is Saturday. Polls open at 10 a.m.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at email@example.com.
Lexi Sutter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.