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Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in the South Bronx to try to woo black and Hispanic voters.

Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in the South Bronx to try to woo black and Hispanic voters.
Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a rally in the South Bronx to try to woo black and Hispanic voters.

 


NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump will campaign in one of the nation's most Democratic counties on Thursday, holding a rally in the South Bronx to woo minority voters days before a Manhattan jury begins its deliberations on whether to convict him of the crime. his criminal trial for money.

Trump will address supporters in Crotona Park, a public green space in a borough that is among the city's most diverse and poorest, a change from the predominantly white areas where he holds most of his rallies. His campaign predicts he will draw a crowd of several thousand people.

With Trump confined to New York for six weeks, the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign has planned a series of local stops in his hometown before and after court. He visited a bodega in Harlem, went to a construction site one morning, and arranged a photo shoot at a local fire station.

The Bronx rally will be Trump's first event open to the general public, as he insists he plays a role in winning a majority Democratic state that hasn't supported a Republican for president since Ronald Reagan in 1984. As well as creating a spectacle of demonstrators and demonstrators. , the rally also allows Trump to highlight what he sees as advantages on economic and immigration issues that could shrink key Democratic voting blocs.

“The strategy is to demonstrate to voters in the Bronx and New York that this is not a typical presidential election, that Donald Trump is here to represent everyone and get our country back on track,” said Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds. a potential Trump running mate who grew up in Brooklyn and will join him at the rally.

The Bronx Democratic Party plans to protest Trump's appearance by holding its own event in the park.

“Trump is not welcome in the Bronx,” they wrote in a social media ad.

Trump's campaign believes he may erode President Joe Biden's support among Black and Hispanic voters, particularly younger men who may not follow politics closely but are frustrated by their economic situation and attracted by Trump's tough guy persona.

He also argued that the indictments he faces in New York and elsewhere make him comparable to Black voters frustrated with the criminal justice system, a statement that has been harshly criticized by Biden's allies.

The rally comes during a break in Trump's criminal trial over hush money. The court will resume after Memorial Day weekend with closing arguments. The jury will then decide whether Trump will become the first former president in the nation's history to be criminally convicted and whether he will be the first major party presidential candidate to run as a convicted felon.

Several longtime figures in New York politics — both Republicans and Democrats — have argued that Trump has good reason to visit the Bronx and other predominantly Black and Latino communities.

Ed Cox, chairman of the Republican Party of New York, noted that the GOP, in a surprise victory, won a seat on the borough's City Council last year for the first time in 40 years. He pointed to the current political climate, with some voters pessimistic about the economy and viewing Biden as weakened.

“As the party chairman here in New York, I'm not going to let New York down. We're going to get there,” he said.

Trump has often highlighted the success of former Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who ran for governor in 2022 against incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul. Zeldin ultimately lost the race by an unusually close margin.

During his campaign, Zeldin appeared in the Bronx alongside the Rev. Rubn Daz Sr., a former state senator and city council member who had urged Trump to hold a rally in the borough and held an event there pro-Trump Saturday.

While other presidential candidates visited and met with local leaders, Daz praised Trump for being “the first and only president or presidential candidate to show respect to the minority communities of the Bronx” by organizing a gathering.

Daz, who remains a Democrat despite Trump's support, said he believes others in the borough will also take the plunge, highlighting concerns about the influx of migrants that have made headlines in New York on budget and security issues.

“People are fed up,” he says. “Democrats say they are here to help us…but our people are worse off under Democratic control.”

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said campaigning in this part of town made sense for Trump.

“There is a concentration of pro-life Latino ministers in the Bronx and they are mobilized and energized,” said Cuomo, who chose to appear with Diaz in 2022 as he launched a political comeback months after the resignation of Democrat after being accused of sexual harassment by at least 11 women.

Cuomo, who has denied the allegations, said: “It's not really representative of New York, but there's a lot of energy on this issue in this part of the Bronx.”

The Bronx was once the most Democratic neighborhood in the city. Barack Obama won 91.2 percent of the vote in the district in 2012, the highest score in the state. Biden won 83.5% of the vote in the district in 2020. Trump received only 16% of the vote.

The area Trump will visit is predominantly non-white – which differs from most of his rally locations. About 65% of residents are Hispanic and 31% black, according to U.S. Census data. Around 35% live below the poverty line.

Trump won't be the first Republican presidential candidate to visit the borough. Ronald Reagan held an event in the South Bronx while running against Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980, giving a speech on a vacant lot on Charlotte Street. Reagan, according to a New York Times article at the time, compared the area to London during World War II after the German Blitz and accused Carter of failing to keep his promises on revitalization. Carter had visited the same location several years earlier, promising improvements.

Reagan's visit was interrupted by protesters who chanted “You will do nothing” and “Go back to California.”

Adam Solis, chairman of the Black Caucus of the New York Young Republican Club, which helped Trump's campaign organize the event, said the visit to a park where he played growing up shows that Trump cares about what he nicknamed it the “forgotten neighborhood”.

“You can imagine being a Trump supporter in the Bronx. You can be ostracized sometimes,” said Solis, who still lives in the neighborhood.

He also called on any protesters who may choose to demonstrate to remain peaceful.

“I wish all the protesters the best. I hope they enjoy sharing their views,” he said. “But I just hope they act lightly. Because disrespect is not accepted in the Bronx.”

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