Trump to hold rally in South Texas two days before early voting

The former president will stage a rally Saturday in Robstown, west of Corpus Christi. Gov. Greg Abbott said he can’t attend, but Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who are both running for reelection, will be speakers.

Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune
Former President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the 2022 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Aug. 6. He will hold a rally in Robstown on Saturday.

Former President Donald Trump is holding a rally in Texas two days before early voting starts for the November election.

The rally will be Saturday in Robstown, outside Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast. Republicans are targeting districts in the area as they try to take over South Texas' congressional seats.

The rally will start at 7 p.m. at the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, according to a media advisory. Trump’s team announced Tuesday that additional speakers would include Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton. Gov. Greg Abbott said he would not be able to attend due to an out-of-state fundraising trip.

The advisory said Trump would speak "in support of his unprecedented effort to advance the MAGA agenda by energizing voters and highlighting the slate of 33-0 Trump Endorsed America First candidates in the Great State of Texas." The 33-0 figure refers to his endorsement record in the Texas primaries and runoff earlier this year, which included some incumbents who faced nominal or no opposition.

Among Trump's endorsees is Abbott who is fighting against Democrat Beto O'Rourke for a third term.

“I welcome President Trump back to Texas, though I won't be able to welcome him personally since I will be out-of-state for a pre-planned fundraising trip to Florida,” Abbott said in a statement.

Trump carried Texas twice, but he is not particularly popular these days. The latest poll from the University of Texas at Austin found that 41% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Trump, while 50% had an unfavorable opinion.

But Trump remains popular with the GOP base, though, and his endorsement was highly sought-after during the primaries. His last rally in Texas was ahead of the March primary, and it was held in the Houston suburbs. Abbott spoke at that rally.

In addition to Patrick and Paxton, the Saturday rally’s speakers will include U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Victoria; Tom Homan, the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Trump; and Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

The speaking list did not include any candidates from the South Texas races that Republicans are targeting. Among them, Trump has endorsed Monica De La Cruz, a Republican running for an open seat that runs from the Rio Grande Valley up to outside San Antonio.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/10/17/trump-south-texas-rally-2022-elections/. The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

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