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Politics / Issues

Trump Holds Rally in Sarasota Saturday

AP Photo/Nati Harnik
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally at West High School in Sioux City, Iowa, Tuesday, Oct. 27

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally in Sarasota on Thanksgiving weekend.

His campaign headquarters said the rally will be held Saturday, Nov. 28, at Robarts Arena at the Sarasota Fairgrounds.

The rally is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. The event is free.

Registration for the event is here.

The Sarasota Fairgrounds is located at 3000 Ringling Blvd.

Also, with poll numbers still showing Trump leading the Republican field in Florida --- something his campaign is quick to point out --- the GOP front-runner announced some additions this week to his operation in the state.

Trump had already tapped Karen Giorno, former director of external affairs for Gov. Rick Scott, as the director of his statewide campaign. Joe Gruters, vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and Susie Wiles, who managed Scott's 2010 campaign, were named co-chairs of the effort.

The latest hires, announced Tuesday, give Trump four more operatives in the state. Jennifer Locetta, who was statewide data director for the RPOF in 2012 and worked for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the state, will be Giorno's deputy. Ken Mayo, who has worked with conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity, will be the director of field operations.

Craig Bachler, who worked on Scott's campaign and was the state director of field operations for former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum four years ago, joins as "director of coalitions," while John Ross Pughe, who formerly served as an aide and campaign manager for state Rep. George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, will be Southeast regional field director.

The moves are another sign Trump is serious about contending in Florida's March 15 primary, which no longer looks like a sure bet for the state's native sons, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush. The winner will capture all of Florida's 99 delegates to the Republican National Convention --- a healthy chunk of the 1,236 delegates needed to clinch the GOP presidential nomination.

"I have created thousands of jobs and own some of the most iconic assets in the state," Trump said, with his characteristic effusiveness, in a new release announcing the hires. "I love the people of Florida and I am proud to have such overwhelming support and a great staff in place."

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