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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Clark County Trump campaign struggles to find venue

By Lauren Dake, Columbian Political Writer
Published: May 4, 2016, 10:16am

Donald Trump’s Clark County campaign coordinator hasn’t given up hope that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee will swing through Vancouver.

“It’s good for everyone in Vancouver if we have a presidential candidate visit,” said Joel Mattila.

Mattila, however, said he’s been “emotionally spent” looking for a venue in Clark County for Trump’s visit.

He’s called the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, the Washington School for the Deaf and the Doc Harris Stadium in Camas, but scheduled graduations and soccer games are making it difficult for him to find a place.

“You can’t name a facility I haven’t talked to,” Mattila said. “We need a venue. If we had a warehouse that was empty, we would put him there.”

Trump previously told Vancouver Republican Don Benton, Trump’s Washington state campaign chairman, that he hoped to visit Saturday, but with both Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race, his game plan could have changed.

Mattila said he’s heard Trump is still considering stops near Seattle and also possibly Portland.

“Until we hear ‘no,’ we are still hoping he will come,” Mattila said.

Mattila, a 39-year-old real estate agent who grew up in the region, said he was a Trump supporter from the start.

“He’ll bring a business mindset to the White House,” Mattila said.

Trump’s would be the third high-profile presidential campaign visit in Clark County this year. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew an estimated 7,000 people to a rally at Hudson’s Bay High School, and former President Bill Clinton attracted 1,100 to a speech at Clark College in support of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Columbian Political Writer