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Wyoming Trump Rally Expected To Draw 20,000

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By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily

A political rally featuring former President Donald Trump and congressional candidate Harriet Hageman is expected to draw up to 20,000 people to the parking lot outside of Casper’s Ford Center.

Brad Murphy, general manager for the Ford Center, told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday that the facility is planning for a crowd of up to 20,000 for the May 28 “Save America Rally.”

“It’s huge, it will bring a lot of people into our town,” Murphy said. “It’s great for Casper and Wyoming.”

Murphy said the Save America PAC is footing the bill for the event. He wouldn’t disclose how much the political action committee is paying to rent the space, but said it is paying the full rate. 

According to a 2018 rental rate sheet for the facility, renting the entire venue for one day costs $3,500. Another fee of $1,500 per day is listed for moving equipment into or out of the facility.

He added the Ford Center was contacted about hosting the Trump event more than a year ago. 

Hageman, who has won Trump’s endorsement in her GOP primary race against Cheney, didn’t announced her candidacy until September.

Murphy said Event Strategies Inc. an Alexandria, Virginia, based company, is managing the event and will provide all necessary staffing. 

Event Strategies produced Trump’s campaign announcement tour in 2015 and helped set up operational standards for the campaign, according to the ESI website. Company founder Tim Unes was deputy director of advance for the Trump campaign and assisted former Vice President Mike Pence with a campaign as well.

 The Save America PAC was created by Trump immediately following the 2020 election. In January 2021, it commissioned a poll on U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney‘s popularity in Wyoming after she voted to impeach Trump for his role in the U.S. Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.

As of Feb. 28, the Save America PAC had raised $92 million during the 2021-2022 election cycle.

Murphy said he doubted the rally would set a record for attendance at the facility, because sitting presidents and former Vice President Dick Cheney have also held rallies at the building, which is the biggest multi-purpose venue in the state.

Murphy said it’s safe to say he won’t be sleeping much in the lead up to the rally. The facility will be hosting graduation ceremonies for Casper’s three high schools on May 26 and May 27. In all, he said the facility could see more than 30,000 visitors over the three days.

“It will be busy but that’s what we do,” Murphy said.

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Trump Schedules ‘Save America’ Rally At Casper’s Ford Center On May 28

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

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By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily

Former President Donald Trump will stage a “Save America” rally at Casper’s Ford Center in late May, he has announced.

A listing on Trump’s website said he would appear at the Ford Center at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 28.

Wyoming Republican Party officials have spoken about a Trump appearance in Wyoming since December, although the details have been slow to emerge. The time and exact venue were announced Monday by the former president.

Trump has endorsed the campaign of Republican Harriet Hageman in her GOP primary race against U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House seat.

“It will be a tremendous honor and incredibly exciting to have President Trump visit with us and it will no doubt be the largest political event in Wyoming history,” Hageman said in a prepared statement. “I am grateful for President Trump’s support in my campaign and I look forward to seeing him in Casper.”

Dr. Joe McGinley, a former Natrona County GOP chair said Trump’s visit will be good for the Casper economy but he has no intention of attending the rally.

“I support Rep. Cheney,” McGinley told Cowboy State Daily. “She’s done a good job so I will not be attending a rally to promote Harriet Hageman.”

Rep. Landon Brown, R-Cheyenne, one of the few elected officials in Wyoming to outwardly support Cheney said Trump’s decision to come to Wyoming speaks of “desperation.”

“It’s clear that Harriet is in trouble with her campaign if they’re calling in former President Trump,” Brown said. “It’s even more telling that they know Liz will win because Trump didn’t win this state in 2016 – he lost to Ted Cruz and never visited here before.”

“Trump has nothing in common with Wyoming citizens- he’s a Manhattan penthouse billionaire whose made his money off of the working class while Wyoming’s working class has built their own lives from the ground up,” he said.

Trump has often criticized Cheney for her vote to impeach him following the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

She also holds a seat on the U.S. House committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the riot.

Before voting for Trump’s impeachment, Cheney agreed with the former president’s policies in about 90% of her votes.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Hageman’s campaign, said the announcement of the rally’s date, time and venue was left to the former president.

“We didn’t announce it, President Trump did in the release from today,” Murtaugh said. “Also, no date is final until it’s announced by President Trump.”

According to an event listing on Trump’s website, people wishing to get tickets for the event may register by cell phone. Only two tickets will be given per cell phone.

Doors for the event are scheduled to open at 11 a.m. and the rally is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

The Ford Center typically holds 8,000 people but seats up to 9,700 for concerts and meetings. It encompasses 28,000 square feet and was built in 1982. Some of the more notable events to be held there were the annual College Nationals Rodeo, UFC 6 in 1995, and Black Sabbath in 1982.

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