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Image: Michael Vadon

Image: Michael Vadon

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a surprise stop in Grand Rapids on Friday while campaigning through various parts of Michigan. He and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani paid a visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum before attending a luncheon with donors at the J.W. Marriott hotel downtown.

The Ford Museum was already experiencing higher than average traffic due to visitors attending the ArtPrize exhibition. Trump’s unanticipated arrival caused both excitement and delays among the crowd.

“That was pretty cool,” said Jeff Hearth, a banker from Clarksville who supports Trump. “To me, it just seems scary that people get embedded with the corruption in Washington, and Donald Trump is not part of that.”

The latest Michigan polls show Trump trailing Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton by an eight-point margin. In West Michigan, however, Trump leads Clinton with 41.2% of support compared to her to 23.6%.

The GOP presidential hopeful has roused controversy within his own party by refusing to release detailed information about his tax returns or personal health. Clinton, too, has had to dispel rumors about her health after a bout of pneumonia put her off the campaign trail for a few days earlier this month. Trump, aged 70, and Clinton, 68, both belong to the Baby Boomer generation — 60% of whom will be managing chronic health conditions by the year 2030.

Trump and Mayor Giuliani offered flowers at the grave sites of former President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, outside of the Grand Rapids museum, though not all locals were pleased with the gesture.

“Gerald R. Ford was a Grand Rapids man of sterling character and humble demeanor who would have no truck for Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump,” Tweeted resident Christian Bell.

As Trump continues his tour through Michigan, Clinton is campaigning in Florida this weekend. Her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, will appear at an organizing event in Traverse City on Friday.

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