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Trump supporters excited about campaign office in Tigard

Trump campaign says candidate will visit Portland before May 17

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Ruth Ann Myers of Yamhill, left, and Cathy Holtz, of Manzanita, cheer from presidential candidate Donald Trump's Tigard campaign office on Tuesday. Trump is hoping to draw big numbers during Oregon's closed primary on May 17.Presidential candidate Donald Trump has big plans for Oregon, and Tigard in particular.

Last week, the Republican frontrunner set up his Portland-area headquarters in a small office building off 72nd Avenue in Tigard.

The office, located at 7100 S.W. Hampton St., is one of two Trump campaign offices in Oregon. A second launched in Eugene last week.

“We’re taking Oregon very seriously,” said Jacob Daniels, Trump’s state campaign director.

Daniels said that Trump, a New York businessman and reality television host running for the Republican presidential nomination, plans to visit Oregon before the state's May 17 primary. The Tigard offices will be used for phone banking and other volunteer activities.

“Tigard is a great location,” Daniels told The Times on Monday. “We want to reach the Portland crowd, but we want to have volunteer opportunities outside of downtown so that people don’t have to deal with traffic and can come by the office after work. Tigard is a terrific location for that.”

Daniels said the campaign plans to open additional offices in Grants Pass and possibly Clackamas before the primary next month.

This is the first time in decades that the nomination battles in both parties have not been settled before the Oregon primary, and several other presidential candidates are making Oregon a part of their strategies.

Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also have campaign offices in the state. Republican John Kasich announced last week that he planned a major push through Oregon, with a town hall planned in Portland on Thursday, April 28.

“You have a very, very exciting election and a lot of the people coming out to vote haven’t voted before,” said Daniels, an attorney in private practice in Creswell, Ore., who runs the Eugene-based political consulting company Oregon Research Consultants. “Most of those (Republicans) are voting for Trump. It’s bringing a lot of people into the voting pool and you are seeing some differences. It’s a very interesting race.”

DONALDJTRUMP.COM - Donald Trump holds up a drawing of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico at a North Carolina rally earlier this year, Trump's Oregon campaign director says the Republican front runner is planning to visit the state before its May 17 primary.

'Crucial juncture'

On Tuesday, Trump supporters from across the state gathered at the Tigard office to watch results for Republican primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Trump won all five contests.

Some drove from as far away as Bend to watch the results and show their support for Trump.

"I started (supporting him) before he even announced," said Cathy Holtz, of Manzanita, who said she drove two hours for the watch party. "I think he fights for freedom of speech. I like that. I like that he does not want illegal entry into the United States of America. That’s a no brainer."

Portland attorney Bobby Percin said he liked that Trump was different than established politicians.

"Our country is in a spot where we need to realign the political systems on both the left and the right," he said.

Percin has been a Trump supporter since last summer, when Trump announced his candidacy. He said that despite its liberal image, there are more Trump supporters in the Portland area than most realize.

"When I came out as a supporter I had people messaging me saying, 'Thanks for taking a stand and saying you support Trump. I'm afraid to do it,'" Percin said. "That's not right."

Daniels has been involved in Trump’s campaign for the past few months. He said he was drawn to Trump’s unorthodox candidacy because of his lifetime spent outside of Washington, D.C.

“I like him because he isn’t a politician,” Daniels said. “He comes from the private sector and that’s exactly what America needs at this unique and crucial juncture in our history.”

Aggressive outreach planned

TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Volunteers fold Donald Trump t-shirts at the Trump campaign office in Tigard on Tuesday.

Jacobs said that as the campaign heats up in Oregon, voters can expect to start seeing Trump’s name all over the state.

“We have a very aggressive outreach campaign for likely voters in the upcoming primary,” Daniels said. “… We’ll be going out and knocking on doors and tell them about Trump’s candidacy. Basically, we’ll do anything and everything possible to make sure Oregon is another success for Donald Trump.”

But Trump’s campaign has been controversial. His calls to ban Muslims from entering the country drew sharp criticism from Portland-area Muslims and political leaders. Several of Trump's rallies have turned violent or been disrupted by protestors in recent months.

To secure the Republican nomination, candidates need to acquire the votes of 1,237 delegates at this summer's Republican National Convention in Ohio. After Tuesday's wins, Trump currently has more than 900 delegates pledged to support him.

Despite recent polls which suggest that candidates may have to deal with a contested convention, Daniels said he believed that Trump would come out on top.

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to achieve 1,237-plus for the national convention,” he said. “Oregon is an important part of that. There are 28 delegates here and we want to make sure we get a majority of those delegates.”

Jeff Mapes with Oregon Public Broadcasting contributed to this report.

By Geoff Pursinger
Assistant Editor
The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood
email: gpursinger@commnewspapers.com
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