Illinois' primary starts in less than 12 hours and right before voters hit the polls, Ted Cruz made a stop in Rockford. It's the first time this year any candidate running for president has come to the Forest City.
Little to no notice of Cruz's visit didn't stop hundreds of people from flooding the Coronado in downtown Rockford, to see republican residential candidate Ted Cruz in person.
Senator Ted Cruz (R) states, "Tomorrow the people of Illinois get to speak to the whole county."
One supporters came out as early as 6:00 a.m. this morning to see the candidate. But not all people here necessarily support Cruz. They came to listen --and learn.
Bianca White, an undecided voter and rally goer, states, "I think it's really interesting to see how different people support different things and just kind get everyone's opinion."
Protesters also showed up. There were two of them that stood across the street holding signs. The signs showed they disagreed with Cruz's religious take on government.
Mercy McKnight, Cruz protester, says, "Maybe encourage people to look more into him [Cruz] getting the education out is mainly our goal."
It was nothing like last Friday's Trump rally in downtown Chicago were things got out of control. One Rockford man says he was there and was upset he didn't get to hear Donald Trump speak in person.
"Did I need a safe zone the other night no." Mike Rychecky, an undecided voter, adds, "But I will tell you what I did need, I needed to hear what the man had to say."
Brandon Loose, a Cruz protester, says, "A lot of people are saying this is a suppression of free speech; but this is what free speech is all about."
Protesters and event goers here in Rockford may not agree politically who they're voting for but one thing they do agree on is the right to speak freely.
Rychecky states, "These people [Protesters] have the right to be here just like we have the right to be in this line and go hear what this man has to say."
Rockford was Cruz's first stop of the day out of 5 in Illinois.