Outside State House, flags, posters and red hats support Trump as he files for NH ballot 

Former President Donald Trump supporter Augusta Petrone looks out from an area secured by the Secret Service at the New Hampshire Statehouse where Trump will sign papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Former President Donald Trump supporter Augusta Petrone looks out from an area secured by the Secret Service at the New Hampshire Statehouse where Trump will sign papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks as he signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks as he signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks with New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, right, as he signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks with New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan, right, as he signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives to signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump arrives to signs papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Former President Donald Trump greets supporters at the State House.

Former President Donald Trump greets supporters at the State House. Charles Krupa/AP

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump signs a message tooters after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump signs a message tooters after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Susan Moltisanti and Kathy Holmes, right, wait for former president Donald Trump outside the New Hampshire State House on Monday.

Susan Moltisanti and Kathy Holmes, right, wait for former president Donald Trump outside the New Hampshire State House on Monday. MICHAELA TOWFIGHI—Monitor staff

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump departs after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump talks to reporters after signing papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Supporters of former President Donald Trump watch his motorcade as it leaves the New Hampshire Statehouse after Trump signed papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Supporters of former President Donald Trump watch his motorcade as it leaves the New Hampshire Statehouse after Trump signed papers to get on the Republican presidential primary ballot, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

 Donald Trump holds paperwork  as he signs up to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the State House.

Donald Trump holds paperwork as he signs up to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the State House. Charles Krupa / AP

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump signs papers as New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan watches, to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump signs papers as New Hampshire Secretary of State David Scanlan watches, to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire State House on Monday.

Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire State House on Monday. Charles Krupa / AP

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to sign papers to be on the 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot at the New Hampshire Statehouse, Monday, Oct. 23, 2023, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Walter Kirsch outside the back side of the State House, waiting for former President Donald Trump to arrive on Monday, October 23, 2023.

Walter Kirsch outside the back side of the State House, waiting for former President Donald Trump to arrive on Monday, October 23, 2023. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Kathy Holmes made a sign affixing former president Donald Trump’s face onto the Old Man of the Mountain.

Kathy Holmes made a sign affixing former president Donald Trump’s face onto the Old Man of the Mountain. MICHAELA TOWFIGHI / Monitor staff

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

Monitor staff

Published: 10-23-2023 6:08 PM

Forget Mount Rushmore. For Kathy Holmes, former president Donald Trump deserves his own granite glory. Outside the State House on Monday, she waved a homemade sign high over head with Trump’s face as the Old Man on the Mountain.

Holmes stood with her feet on the sidewalk’s edge – as close to the barricaded back entrance that she could get to where the former president entered to place his name on the 2024 Republican primary ballot. She’d seen him before. Multiple times, to be precise. But still, each was better than the next.

In a white “Team Trump” New Hampshire shirt, a pin of the former President with yellow fuzz glued on for hair, and a black baseball hat proclaiming Trump will win his third election, Holmes was ready. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, holding her homemade sign in one hand and a flag in the other. Then, she let a scream out.

Glimpses of platinum blonde came through a sea of red baseball hats as Trump ascended the stairs. And when he paused at the doors to wave to supporters that congregated by the back entrance to the building, Holmes smiled ear to ear.

“Oh brother,” she said, pumping her sign and flag higher, cheering in support.

Chants of “USA” erupted as Trump entered the building, with registered guests filling in behind metal barricades that outlined the State House entrance. The campaign selected supporters to line the interior of the building leading to the Secretary of State’s office.

For other supporters, like Holmes, the sidewalk across the street by the State Library was the closest they could get.

“We were so impressed with his four years and all that he got done with all the opposition, with all the swamp that he had to fight against,” said Holmes, referencing her and her husband’s support for the former president.

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It was a reunion of sorts for Trump supporters on the sidewalk. As Susan Moltisanti, a former educator, held a “Teachers for Trump” sign, she hugged parents of kindergarten students she’d had in class years ago.

And it was a way for fans like Holmes and Moltisanti to continue to reaffirm their support for Trump in his third campaign for president despite dozens of criminal charges he faces in four states.

Still, Trump’s word stands untouched in Moltisanti’s eyes.

“He does stand for truth. I think that truth is sadly missing in our country. That concerns me that people don’t want to know the truth,” she said. “We need to stand up for truth because for too long people have not stood up.”

Holmes watched Fox News with her husband up until the 2020 election. When the network called the state of Arizona in favor of President Joe Biden, she knew she could no longer watch. They’re now fans of Newsmax.

It wasn’t the first time the two women supported Trump together. In June, they sat in the audience as Trump spoke at the Lilac Lunch in Concord, hosted by the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women.

When her husband retired from the Air Force in 1979, Holmes said the couple could pick any state to pack up and move to. They chose to live in a log cabin in New Hampshire. In their three decades in the Granite State, politics has been an added bonus.

That’s how Walter Kirsch feels, too. With candidates flocking to the Granite State, he’s hit the trail to greet them. He paused to think about where he’s seen Trump before – Manchester several times, Wolfeboro, Derry, Concord – throughout the last eight years.

Leaving his house in Warner Monday, Kirsch stopped in Concord to hold his Trump 2024 flag outside the State House. Next up, he debated following the campaign down to Derry, where Trump was hosting a rally later in the afternoon.

“For the last eight years now, I was supporting him early on and he hasn’t disappointed me,” said Kirsch. “We don’t see much of it here in New Hampshire, especially in Concord, but the country is in bad shape.”

Ahead of the 2024 election, where Trump leads a crowded Republican primary in state polls, Kirsch said he’s lost faith in both parties.

With Trump back in office he hopes he can continue to “take on the establishment” and reduce government regulations, which were key tenants of his campaign that appealed to Kirsch.

“I’m kind of disappointed with the Republican Party as much as the Democrat Party, honestly,” he said. “So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully, it gets shaken up a little bit because I feel big change is needed.”

As cars passed Kirsch and booed, he stood steady with his flag and just waved back.

But when a man in a yellow Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tom Brady jersey walked in front of the pro-Trump crowd on the sidewalk, playing a guitar and taunting them with satirical songs, the crowd pleaded with him to stop ruining the moment for them before he was ushered across the street.

Despite these clear signs of opposition to Trump’s presidency, there’s little he could do wrong in Kirsch’s eyes. Sure, he’s a character. But that’s not a bad thing, he said.

“I can’t find one negative. I mean, he’s not perfect. He’s a man. But imagine for the last almost eight years now he’s gotten so much hate. I don’t think too many people could be willing to take that on,” he said. “Let Trump be Trump. That’s my motto.”