Few Republican delegates anywhere have admired Donald Trump longer than Charlotte’s Rion Choate.
Choate, 64, brought a visible reminder of that to the GOP convention.
In a black binder are photographs of him with Trump at high-dollar charity functions and during George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign. There are photos from black tie events of Choate with Trump’s first wife, Ivana, and his second wife, Marla Maples. There’s a shot of Maples that Choate took at Trump’s Palm Beach estate called Mar-a-Lago.
Little wonder that a 1991 Observer story about Choate, also in the black binder, was headlined, “The Man Who Would Be Trump.”
“Donald Trump,” he said at the time, “is the epitome of the American Dream.… It’s the Donald Trumps of the world that make things happen.”
The occasion for the article was Choate’s publicized purchase of some condos from a financially strapped Trump project in Florida, what the article called part of Trump’s “crumbing empire.”
Choate, a financial adviser who has worked in Manhattan and whose clients include international investors, has not changed his opinion of the man who would be the GOP presidential nominee.
“Donald Trump,” he says, “is a Renaissance Man.”