Donald Trump to announce re-election campaign (again) in Florida (again)

The president already held his first 2020 campaign rally. It was more than two years ago. It was also in the Sunshine State.
President Donald Trump during a campaign rally Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Melbourne, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
President Donald Trump during a campaign rally Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Melbourne, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Published May 31, 2019|Updated May 31, 2019

President Donald Trump is coming to Florida on June 18 to announce he’s running for a second term for president.

If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is.

On Feb. 18, 2017 — more than two years ago — Trump was in Melbourne for an event billed as the first official rally of his 2020 reelection campaign. He’s been holding large, campaign-style events all over the country ever since. (He just did one in the Panhandle.)

It’s unclear, then, what will be unique about this upcoming event, to be held at the Amway Center (which, he pointed out, holds 20,000 people). But Trump on Twitter said it will be “historic.” Vice President Mike Pence will be there, as will first lady Melania Trump (she was also at the Melbourne event two years ago).

Still, the return to Florida and the Interstate 4 corridor for another signature event underscores the importance of the Sunshine State to Trump’s re-election bid, as was recently laid out in this story.

Here’s an excerpt:

The part-time Florida resident has spent more time here than any location outside of Washington since becoming president, and not just because he likes golf. His campaign is dedicating resources to the state and its 29 electoral college votes as if it were an entire region. And this month alone, the president has made repeated overtures to different segments of Florida’s complex electorate through the power of the purse and international policy.

So as Democrats divide their attention among the largest field of candidates in modern history, the president’s reelection campaign is already kicking into gear around a massive voter-data operation and a high-profile stable of surrogates. In a complete reversal from 2016, Trump’s team is in sync from the White House down to the local parties, giving him a vast arsenal with which to target a specific number of voters that strategists believe will send him to four more years in office.

“The path to victory is through Florida,” said 2016 Trump Florida campaign co-chairman Joe Gruters, now the head of the Republican Party of Florida. “There’s so much at stake.”

It’s been 95 years since a Republican won a presidential election without picking up Florida. And Trump doesn’t intend to break that record.

This month alone, he reversed course and agreed to fully fund a $200 million budget request for Everglades restoration projects and announced a 90 percent federal cost-share for disaster recovery efforts in the hurricane-ravaged Panhandle. He’s made further inroads in South Florida’s diverse Hispanic community by increasing financial pressures against leftist regimes in Venezuela and Cuba. And according to the L.A. Times, Trump now plans to roll out his 2020 campaign with an event located along the Interstate-4 corridor, which cuts across battleground Central Florida.

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