President Trump to hold Nashville rally during May 29 visit for Marsha Blackburn fundraiser

About Nashville

Buy Photo

President Donald Trump is expected to hold rally at the Municipal Auditorium during his May 29 visit to Nashville for a fundraiser for Republican Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn, according a city official familiar with the event.

Trump is scheduled to headline a fundraiser for Blackburn on the same day.

A private roundtable with Trump for two costs $44,300 per couple, a private photo reception costs $10,800 per couple and a general reception with the president costs $2,700 per couple.

Blackburn is seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by incumbent Bob Corker, who is not seeking a third term. Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen also is in the race, and polls show a close contest.

The rally was first reported by Politico. Trump previously held a rally at the auditorium in March 2017.

This will mark the president’s third Nashville visit, including the rally and a speech at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center earlier this year for the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual conference.

Vanderbilt poll: Tennessee senate race poll finds crucial voters view Bredesen better than Blackburn

Trump has voiced support for Blackburn and pledged to campaign for her.

"We are honored to have the President’s support and look forward to welcoming him to the campaign trail with us," Blackburn campaign spokesman Abbi Sigler said in a message to the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee last week.

In April, Trump tweeted that Blackburn is a "wonderful woman who has always been there when we have needed her. Great on the Military, Border Security and Crime. Loves and works hard for the people of Tennessee. She has my full endorsement and I will be there to campaign with her!”

The Senate race between Blackburn, a GOP congressman from Brentwood, and Bredesen is expected to be a close race, according to a host of recent polls.

Republicans and Democrats alike at the national level have put a focus on Tennessee.

Trump’s backing could potentially help Blackburn solidify her support among Republicans. Trump won 92 of the state’s 95 counties over Democrat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential race and remains popular in the state, especially among GOP voters.

A Vanderbilt University poll released Thursday put Trump’s approval rating in Tennessee at 53 percent.

Blackburn, who was a Trump surrogate during the presidential campaign and served on his transition team after the election, has made her support of Trump a pivotal part of her Senate campaign.

He also picked her as a speaker for the 2016 Republican National Convention.

She pledges on her campaign website to “work tirelessly to help President Trump pass his agenda” and reminds voters in campaign ads that she supports his position on issues such as tax reform, the economy, immigration and the border wall.

But even as a Democrat, Bredesen has not sought to distance himself from the president or to point toward what other Democrats view as the president’s flaws.

In an interview with the USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee late last year, Bredesen tried to distance himself from the Trump-focused politics of national Democrats.

"I’m not running against Donald Trump," he said at the time. "I’m running for getting some things done here in Tennessee."

The Blackburn Victory Fund is hosting the fundraising. The group is a joint fundraising committee composed of Marsha for Senate, MARSHA PAC and the National Republican Senate Committee.

Joey Garrison contributed to this report.

Reach Reporter Jordan Buie at 615-726-5970 or by email at jbuie@tennessean.com. Follow him on Twitter @jordanbuie.

Source Article