It’s on: Donald Trump coming to Tallahassee

Jeff Burlew  |  Tallahassee Democrat

Donald Trump, whose White House fortunes could be riding on victory in Florida, will visit Tallahassee on Tuesday.

The GOP presidential nominee is set to hold a rally 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, 6800 Mahan Drive. Tickets are available on the website

Trump’s visit, on the second day of early voting in Leon County, is part of a multi-city swing through Florida, including stops Sunday in Naples, Monday in St. Augustine and Tampa and Tuesday in Sanford, before his visit to the capital city.

DeVoe Moore, a noted Tallahassee businessman with strong ties to Florida State University, is hosting the event at his automobile museum.

Moore told the Tallahassee Democrat on Saturday the Trump campaign was expecting a crowd of 5,000. But he’s anticipating even more people at the rally, which is happening exactly two weeks before election day.

“I think it’s going to be a great event, myself,” said Moore, who happens to be a Democrat. “I’m excited about him coming because I think he has a lot of good ideas. A lot of other people are excited about him coming, too.”

Evan Power, chairman of the Leon County Republican Party, said Trump’s visit is part of a strategy to communicate directly to the voters.

“Donald Trump is visiting places all around the state to bring his message to people in person and to get them out to vote,” he said. “His ability to hold multiple rallies a day gives him an opportunity to visit many more voters near their homes.”

But others in Democratic-heavy Leon County were less than thrilled.

“Oh goody,” said Roger Holdener in a Facebook post. “We will be able to see which of our neighbors are dumb, racist, sexist and too horrid to invite over for dinner.”

Unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s sunk millions into a sustained TV ad blitz, Trump is relying more on free media coverage of his rallies, which draw thousands and have sometimes led to clashes with protesters.

Trump has ping-ponged across North Florida, visiting Jacksonville, Panama City and Pensacola, in some cases multiple times. But this will mark the first time he has stumped in Tallahassee.

Clinton, meanwhile, has dispatched to Tallahassee many of her most prominent supporters, from former President Bill Clinton, who’s visited the area three times this year, to first daughter Chelsea Clinton, running mate Sen. Tim Kaine and Vice President Joe Biden.

Moore said an advance team from the Trump campaign visited the museum Saturday and is expected to return Sunday. He said the campaign and the Secret Service are staffing the event.

He declined to say how much the Trump campaign is paying to rent the venue. But he suggested the visit makes sense despite the city’s political leanings.

“I think he’ll have a message to sell,” Moore said. “And I think he’ll win over some.”


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