Trump returns to Minnesota to raise money, rally supportersOctober 1, 2020 1:16am

Sept. 30-- MINNEAPOLIS-Five weeks ahead of the election, President Donald Trump was back in Minnesota Wednesday to headline a GOP fundraiser in Shorewood and lead an evening rally in Duluth.

Trump arrived at the fundraiser at the Lake Minnetonka home of Cambria President and CEO Marty Davis about 5 p.m. and stayed for 90 minutes.

According to a Republican National Committee official, the event is expected to bring in $7 million for Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee run by and benefiting the Trump campaign and the party. Davis is a GOP donor who has led efforts to urge Walz to reopen more of the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among those greeting him at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were Minnesota Senate Republican Leader Paul Gazelka, House GOP Leader Kurt Daudt, and U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis.

It is Trump's seventh visit to Minnesota since taking office, and his second to northern Minnesota since early voting started in the state on Sept. 18, when he rallied supporters in Bemidji while Democrat challenger Joe Biden met with union members in Duluth.

The focus on northern Minnesota underscores the importance of working-class voters in the region to both campaigns.

Ahead of Trump's visit, Biden's campaign released a list of endorsements from 45 leaders in Minnesota's Iron Range. Biden, meanwhile, embarked on eight stop-train tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The president's foray into the state marks the first of a series of campaign stops this week by the candidates and their surrogates.

Former Second Lady Jill Biden is scheduled to campaign in Minnesota on Saturday, making her second stop in the state since her husband secured the Democratic nomination.

Eric Trump, the president's second son, is scheduled to hold an event Thursday in Becker, Minn. And Biden's running mate, California U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, is scheduled to address a virtual gathering of the DFL's annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner Thursday evening.

Trump's trip to Minnesota comes a day after a testy debate with Biden, the first of three scheduled presidential encounters before the election.

Hours before leaving Washington, Trump took to Twitter to take credit for quelling the civil unrest that rocked the Twin Cities after the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. "Heading to Minnesota today," Trump tweeted. "Saved Minneapolis after the Dem LEFT almost let it be TOTALLY destroyed! #MAGA"

The riots and arson were brought under control after DFL Gov. Tim Walz called in the Minnesota National Guard and the State Patrol at the request of Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

He also again took credit for opening the Iron Range, a refrain he sounded a year ago when visiting Minneapolis. In a tweet as he landed in Minnesota he claimed that "thousands of jobs started back," seemingly unaware that the region's mines have been struggling with closures and furloughs since the pandemic began.

Mining and logging employment is at its lowest level in Minnesota in a decade, according to state figures.

Dozens of protesters and Trump supporters greeted Trump's motorcade as he made his way through residential streets in Shorewood.

A new MPR News/Star Tribune/KARE-11 Minnesota Poll of 800 likely voters a week before the debate showed Biden leading Trump by 48% to 42%, with 8% undecided.

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(Minneapolis Star Tribune staff writer Katy Read contributed to this report.)

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(c)2020 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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