Live coverage: Donald Trump to rally in Phoenix as campaign turns attention to key battleground state

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will take his re-election campaign to Arizona on Wednesday when he holds a rally in what historically has been solid Republican territory but is now considered a battleground state in this year’s presidential contest.

Trump will hold a “Keep America Great” rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, his first campaign visit to the Grand Canyon State during the 2020 election cycle. Trump will take the stage at the same time six Democrats who are vying for their party’s presidential nomination are set to debate in Las Vegas.

Trump carried Arizona by 3.5 percentage points in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Clinton, but political experts expect the presidential race to be tighter this year. His remarks at the event are expected to focus on the economy, judicial nominees and his recent Senate acquittal on impeachment charges.

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Trump will be joined at the rally by Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who is expected to face a tough re-election battle against Democrat Mark Kelly. Kelly, a former astronaut, is the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who suffered a brain injury during an assassination attempt in 2011.

McSally and Kelly are competing to serve the remaining two years of the Senate seat held by the late John McCain, who died of a brain tumor in 2017. Gov. Doug Ducey appointed McSally to the seat pending a special election for the final two years of McCain’s term.

Trump’s rally in Phoenix comes amid a four-day swing through the West that will combine campaign stops with official White House events. Campaign rallies also are scheduled for Colorado Springs, Colo., on Thursday and Las Vegas on Friday.

Contributing: The Arizona Republic

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