President Donald Trump’s portrait is now hanging with his predecessors in the third floor rotunda of the state Capitol, in the Gallery of Presidents, a year after a prankster placed a picture of Russian President Putin near the spot intended for him.
“Whether this portrait brings a smile or scowl to your face, remember you have the right to do so because this is the United States of America,” former Senate President Kevin Grantham, a Republican, stated before the unveiling Thursday afternoon, Aug. 1.
Colorado Republicans raised more than $10,000 through a GoFundMe account in 2018 to commission the oil painting by Sarah Boardman.
“It’s only fitting that a populist such as the president would have the first crowdfunded campaign for a presidential portrait, with contributions as small as $5 and as large as $500,” Kevin Grantham added.
State Rep. Dan Pabon, a Denver Democrat, was one of the donors to the GoFundMe campaign, according to Denver Post.
“I thought it was important to donate to this cause,” Pabon said during the ceremony.
Pabon said he didn’t want children and their parents taking the Capitol tour and thinking politics had anything to do with why Trump was missing from the wall of presidential portraits.
Trump supporter Jerry Grotkier, 74, who drove from his home in the Colorado Springs area about 80 miles south of Denver, said it was an honor to attend the ceremony.
“I think it does him great justice. I’ve seen unattractive portraits of him with a big, fat chin and whatever. He’s the energizer bunny that we’ve all been waiting for,” he said. “I was a Trump supporter as soon as he ran.”
Last year, an aide to former House Speaker Crisanta Duran, a Democrat, was punished for helping a progressive group put the picture of Putin on brief display.
Katie March used her security badge to allow a member of ProgressNow Colorado into the Capitol with the picture of Putin. A tour guide removed it.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press.