CHARLESTON, W.Va. — President Donald Trump plans a return visit to West Virginia for a rally and fundraiser.
Trump is expected to be in Wheeling July 24 for a private fundraiser, as first reported by Wheeling’s Intelligencer newspaper.
The event is being hosted by Bob Murray, president and CEO of Murray Energy, and is planned for 6 p.m. at WesBanco Arena. The fundraiser is not open to the public.
Jason Witt, assistant general counsel for Murray Energy, confirmed the details to MetroNews. But, he noted, “The fundraiser is being hosted by Mr. Murray personally.”
West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter welcomed the announcement of Trump’s return.
“It’s always an honor to welcome President Trump to West Virginia,” she stated.
“Since his election, over 6 million jobs have been created in our country, and thanks to his leadership, West Virginia had the highest first-quarter personal income growth in the country. We look forward to welcoming President Trump back to West Virginia a lot over the next sixteen months.”
Recent national reports showed Trump raising $105 million for his re-election campaign this quarter, largely on the strength of his official announcement.
Trump remains very popular in West Virginia.
Morning Consult shows that his approval in West Virginia is 59 percent, with 39 percent disapproval.
Trump defeated Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in West Virginia in 2016 with 67.9 percent of the vote to her 26.2 percent.
He has been to West Virginia over and over, having his own rallies and also supporting Republican candidates in West Virginia.
Trump appeared in Wheeling, for example, on Sept. 29, 2018
“I am thrilled to be back in this incredible state with thousands of hard-working American patriots,” he said during that visit. “The people of West Virginia love our country, they honor our history and they always respect our great American flag, and this is a truly amazing time for our nation.”
As is usually the case, the upcoming visit is expected to draw many Republican political figures from West Virginia.
Among those planning to attend are Senate President Mitch Carmichael and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw.
Gov. Jim Justice, who is embarking on his own re-election bid as a Republican, intends to be there. Justice is a personal friend of Trump’s.
“Governor Justice looks forward to welcoming President Trump back to West Virginia,” stated Mike Lukach, who runs the Justice campaign. “Under the Trump-Justice team West Virginia has enjoyed unprecedented economic wins, record job growth and a strong rebound in our coal mines.”
Another Republican candidate for governor, former Delegate Mike Folk, said he supports Trump’s return visit to West Virginia.
“I will say this,” Folk said. “”Justice was never elected as a Republican. Justice needs Trump more than Trump needs Justice. If he really wants to talk to a real Republican, he should be talking to me instead of Jim Justice.”