OKLAHOMA CITY — Cindy and David Badger hosted a small prayer gathering Saturday in front of their pickup in the far back corner of the state Capitol parking lot, but they were among the few who showed up, despite rumors of protests.
The Oklahoma City couple said they could have prayed anywhere with the nearly dozen supporters who also showed up, but they said they decided to hold a peaceful, isolated gathering outside the Capitol because of what it represents.
“See, I'm far back here just in case there was all kinds of drama up there, I am not going to engage at all,” Cindy said. “That's why I'm this far back. I’m not gonna engage."
Both said they were disappointed with how the election was handled and said they are praying for more election security.
Cindy, 69, said she still questions the results of the November election that President-elect Joe Biden won. Recounts, court reviews and other checks on the system have not supported allegations that cheating affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and instead have verified the original results.
“President Trump asked us for peace and to pray for corruption to be exposed,” Cindy added.
David Badger, 70, a Vietnam veteran, stood in his U.S. Marine Corp. uniform next to an American flag, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and a Marine Corps flag that flapped in the wind from the back of their pickup.
Cindy said they had originally planned to help host a larger rally in support of Trump on Saturday with the DriveFor45 Facebook group, but it was canceled amid concerns of violence.
There was a heavy law enforcement presence Saturday at the Capitol, but despite the threat of armed protests, the grounds remained largely quiet.
A trio of Texas men said they drove up to Oklahoma to see what was happening after officials in their home state closed the Capitol in Austin through Wednesday because of security concerns.
A man wearing an American flag hat in a vehicle with Mississippi tags and a Black Lives Matter supporter both drove through the parking lot just to see if anything was happening.
Authorities said there would be an increased law enforcement presence at the building through the start of February.
Janelle Stecklein covers the Oklahoma Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites. Reach her at email@example.com.