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Trump, Pence to drum up Republican support in northern Indiana rally


President Trump looks on after signing an executive order on "Supporting our Veterans during their Transition from Uniformed Service to Civilian Life" on Jan. 9. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will appear at a rally Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana.  Tribune News Service Buy Photos

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will appear at a rally Thursday night in Elkhart, Indiana. 

The rally, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Elkhart’s North Side Middle School, comes just two days after Indiana’s GOP Senate primary was won by Mike Braun, a businessman who pegged himself as a political outsider and a supporter of Trump’s “drain the swamp” mentality.

Trump and Pence are expected to rally support for Braun as he looks to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-IN, in November’s senate race — a race that’s already looking contentious. Multiple media outlets have reported that Donnelly’s seat is one of the most vulnerable in November's general elections. 

Another Tuesday night win — this one by the vice president’s brother, Greg Pence, in the 6th Congressional District — is also expected to be celebrated at the rally.

The event, originally planned for South Bend, Indiana, was moved to Elkhart to accommodate more people, according to the IndyStar. The North Side Gymnasium is one of the state’s largest, with seating for more than 7,000 people.

Trump’s visit comes on the heels of his Tuesday announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a major campaign promise, and after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected return with three former American captives released from North Korea.

However, protesters are expected Thursday evening. South Bend station WSBT-TV reported Elkhart residents spoke up at an Elkhart Community School Board meeting and pressuring the board to rethink allowing Trump to speak at the North Side Gym.

Doors to the event are scheduled to open to the public at 4 p.m. Tickets are free and can be reserved online at the president’s re-election website.

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