MESQUITE, Texas — Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders walked onto the stage at the Mesquite Rodeo Arena Friday night and within seconds, had the crowd erupting in laughter and cheers.

“I have never been to a rodeo in my life, but I do work in Washington, D.C. and I do hear a lot of bull (expletive),” he said.

His next statement made them scream even louder.

“I’m going to make a dramatic announcement – we’re going to win the state of Texas,” he said.

RELATED: Bernie Sanders to rally supporters in Mesquite on Friday night

Sanders drew a crowd of more than 5,300 people, according to his campaign.

He told the crowd he’s confident he’ll win because of their strong ground game. 

“We have people knocking on doors all over the country working hard to make sure we have a government and economy that represents all of us, not just the one percent,” he said.

His speech lasted about 30 minutes and focused on the themes he’s centered his entire campaign around income inequality, civil rights, healthcare and immigration reform.

In the 2016 Democratic primary, Sanders lost Dallas County to Hillary Clinton. In Mesquite, Clinton won with about 74% of the vote.

Sanders ended his rally with a plea for support. “I’m asking for your vote in the Texas primary. Let us have the highest voter turnout in history,” he said to the crowd.

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