Elections

Donald Trump returning to swing-state Iowa

This time, he'll be joined by running mate Mike Pence, campaign website says

Conner Hach, 16, of Ely (center) reaches for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the DoubleTree Cedar Rapi
Conner Hach, 16, of Ely (center) reaches for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the DoubleTree Cedar Rapids Convention Complex on Thursday, July 28, 2016. Hach passed forward campaign signs, shirts and other items for Trump to sign on behalf of other audience members standing near him. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — Iowa is becoming a regular stop on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s travel schedule.

He is slated to appear Friday afternoon at a town hall rally in Des Moines after having held campaign events in Davenport and Cedar Rapids last week that drew large crowds of supporters.

According to Trump’s campaign website, Friday’s 3 p.m. appearance at the Iowa Events Center will include his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, making his first stop in Iowa since earning the vice presidential nomination at last month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Advance work was underway Wednesday in preparation for the event, said Eric Branstad, state director for Trump’s Iowa campaign, and a large turnout again is anticipated.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Branstad, who noted how he, his father, Gov. Terry Branstad, and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst marveled at the excitement Trump generated during his Iowa stops last week. “It’s more like a rock concert with this standing-up passion from the folks that are coming to these. We’ve never seen excitement like we’ve seen with these events, ever. Not in my lifetime.”

Branstad said he expected more visits from the Trump-Pence ticket in the future as both Republicans and Democrats include Iowa on their list of swing states critical to landing the 270 electoral votes needed to seal the presidential election.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Andy McGuire marked the occasion of Trump’s return by contrasting him with her party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton.

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“This week, Hillary Clinton laid out a five-point plan to build an economy that works for everyone — not just those at the top — that includes the largest investment in job creation the United States has seen since World War II,” she said.

“On the other hand, all Donald Trump has done this week is insult a Gold Star family, evade questions about why he manufactures products overseas and kick a mother and her crying baby out of one of his rallies,” McGuire said.

Officials with the Clinton campaign said they did not have any information about any Iowa travel plans for the candidate since she landed her party’s nomination during last week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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