‘Nodding Woman’ behind Trump at town hall is former House candidate

A woman who attended President Trump’s NBC town hall Thursday evening and gained notoriety on social media for nodding her head and giving a thumbs up behind the president, ran for a Congressional seat in 2018 as an independent, pro-Trump candidate. 

According to the Miami Herald, Florida immigration attorney and Trump supporter Mayra Joli was seated behind the president during the town hall. She became associated with the hashtags “#noddingwoman” and “#noddinglady” on Twitter following Thursday’s event.

Joli, who the Miami Herald said referred to herself as the “master of selfies” during her 2018 campaign, greeted the president after the town hall Thursday, as seen in a video she posted on Facebook

“We have your back! You see, you see you are the best,” Joli said to Trump as he talked to audience members after the event. 

“Where are you from?” Trump replied.

“I’m from the Dominican Republic, but I’m American, I’m an American,” Joli said.

“Hey, Sammy Sosa?” Trump said, referring to the Dominican-born former Chicago Cubs baseball player while pretending to swing a baseball bat.

Joli told Trump that Sosa endorsed her 2018 race to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District, in which she received 2.5 percent of the vote. 

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) eventually won the November 2018 election over Republican candidate and Cuban American former broadcast journalist Maria Elvira Salazar by approximately 6 percentage points. 

According to the Herald, Joli is a five-time beauty queen who also serves as a commentator on Spanish-language television. She has consistently vocalized her support for Trump, saying in a 2017 interview with the Herald that he inspired her campaign.  

“I am not looking to run [for Congress] because I need a paycheck, like Donald Trump. I’m not looking to run because I need fame, like Donald Trump. I’m running because I need this country to succeed,” Joli said. “Like Donald Trump, I don’t drink.”

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