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President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend a rally this Friday at JQH Arena for Josh Hawley’s U.S. Senate bid.
Photo courtesy Missouri State University College Democrats
President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend a rally this Friday at JQH Arena for Josh Hawley’s U.S. Senate bid.

Trump’s scheduled visit to MSU draws interest, opposition

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The lines in the sand are being drawn ahead of President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the Queen City on Sept 21.

Missouri State University on Friday announced Trump would attend a campaign rally at JQH Arena for Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley’s U.S. Senate run against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The announcement on MSU’s Facebook page drew 125 comments, 194 shares and 563 reactions, including 108 “angry” reactions and 60 “love” reactions. 

“The university recognizes that this will offend some and delight others. University policy and our legal obligations under the First Amendment say we cannot make decisions on who can rent facilities based on personal beliefs,” the announcement reads. “As a community, let’s show the rest of the country how Missouri State and Springfield respectfully participate in the political process, whether you’re there to rally for candidates or peacefully protest.”

MSU spokeswoman Andrea Mostyn said Donald J. Trump for President Inc. signed a contract to rent the arena for $50,000, plus expenses.

Mostyn said the university is not involved in the ticketing process. Springfield Business Journal’s request for ticket information — tickets for the event are available at DonaldJTrump.com, which notes doors open at 4 p.m. — was not returned by Trump officials by deadline

At least two protests of the event are planned.

The largest, organized by MSU College Democrats, has 245 people who say they are going on the event’s Facebook page and 1,200 who are interested in attending.

“While we know there is a lot to be said about President Trump’s attendance, we will be focusing a great deal on the main event, Josh Hawley. If we want to oppose Trump politics, then we cannot allow candidates like Hawley to take seats in our government,” a post by MSU College Democrats reads.

A request for comment from Hawley’s campaign was not answered by deadline.

As of July 18, Hawley’s campaign had $2.3 million in cash on hand. McCaskill’s campaign had $6.6 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.

This isn’t the first time Trump has visited Springfield as president.

In August 2017, the president stopped at Loren Cook Co. to deliver the first in a series of talks about his tax reform proposal. Federal tax reform was approved later in the year.

The visit brought in some 1,350 attendees to Loren Cook Co.’s plant. It also brought on protests from opponents and proponents, according to past SBJ reporting.

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