Donald Trump plans South Texas rally on eve of early voting for Nov. 8 elections

Gun Rights


The rally in Robstown, near Corpus Christi, is the only event listed on the former president’s website.

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Former President Donald Trump plans a rally in what is shaping up as competitive South Texas on Saturday, just two days before the start of early voting ahead of the Nov. 8 elections.

The former president, who in May was in Houston for a gathering of the National Rifle Association and two weeks earlier was in Austin as part of his “Save America Tour,” will be at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Robstown, about 20 miles west of Corpus Christi.

In an advisory, Trump said he wants to “energize voters” by reminding them of the number of Republican candidates he has endorsed who have gone on to win elections, or at least their GOP primaries.

During the March primaries, Trump endorsed Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, all of whom face competitive races from Democrats this cycle. Abbott’s campaign, which earlier this cycle downplayed the need for the former president’s help in the race against Beto O’Rourke, did not immediately respond to a question on whether the governor would be part of Trump’s rally.

Among Republicans, Trump remains popular, having carried the state in the 2016 presidential election and again four years later. He has broadly hinted that he’d like to seek a return to the White House in 2024.

More:In 2022 midterms, Trump and possible GOP rivals test the waters for 2024 presidential race

He was also something of a gift to Texas Democrats, especially in the 2018 midterms when the out-of-power party picked up 12 state House seats while O’Rourke and other statewide Democratic candidates overperformed their counterparts in past elections going back two decades or more, even though all had come up short.

Why is Trump rally in Robstown, Texas?

At least two South Texas congressional districts are considered to be in play this cycle even though the region has been a Democratic stronghold for generations. In the 34th District, which runs north from McAllen to suburban San Antonio, Democratic U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is in a tight race with Republican Mayra Flores, who is also an incumbent.

Flores won the special election earlier this year to replace Democratic former Congressman Filemon Vela, who resigned before his term ended. Gonzalez jumped from his own newly redrawn 15th District because the 34th appeared more friendly to a Democrat.

More:Can we trust the 2022 midterm elections to be fair? Three-quarters of those polled say yes

The new 15th is also considered competitive. Republican Monica De La Cruz, who narrowly lost her run for Congress two years ago, is facing Democrat Michelle Vallejo. Axios reported last week that the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has dropped plans for a late-campaign advertising buy for Vallejo.

How to get Trump rally tickets in Texas

Trump’s Robstown visit, which is the only rally listed on his website, is open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. CDT. Registration is required, and the “events” page said admission will begin at 2 p.m. CDT.

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at jmoritz@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

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