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Protests planned for Trump’s rally in Columbia

A protest called “Trans People Won’t Be Erased” is being organized to counter President Donald Trump’s arrival Thursday at the Columbia Regional Airport, one of two events meant to counter the controversial leader’s visit to Columbia.

Our Revolution Mid-Missouri, the Boone County Democrats and Como for Progress will co-host a separate rally Thursday outside the Boone County Courthouse, as well. Local Democratic candidates plan to attend. Trump is expected to hold his Make America Great Again rally inside Hangar 350 at the airport at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

Trump is visiting Missouri twice before the election next Tuesday. In addition to his Columbia appearance, he will hold a rally the day before the election in Cape Girardeau. Trump has visited the state several times in support of Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley, the Missouri attorney general who is trying to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

“The race between McCaskill and Hawley is very close,” said University of Missouri political science professor Peverill Squire. “It has been that way for the last couple of months so he has every reason to get just one more Republican to show up because it could be just a handful of votes that make the difference.”

He said Trump’s goal with these rallies is to motivate Republican voters to go to the polls.

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