With Donald Trump coming to Sarasota Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 28, to campaign at the Sarasota Fairgrounds at noon, Sarasota’s connection with Trump is undeniable. While Trump is well established real-estate wise all across Florida, there might not be a place in the state that Trump is better established in politically.
Sarasota is majority Republican, but not by too much. Whereas there are 85,331 voters registered as democrat in Sarasota, there are 118,613 registered Republicans, 45 percent of which are made up of people 65 years or older. Despite many experts predicting Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush to lead the Republican polls, Trump has been leading the polls – holding 36 percent of the Republican vote – with Rubio in second place at 18 percent.
On Oct. 23, Donald J. Trump for President campaign announced that it would open a campaign office in Sarasota, which would act as the state headquarters. While no official location has been named, several possibilities have been mentioned about establishing the office on Tamiami Trail, Fruitville Road, or Clarke Road.
In addition, the announcement named Sarasota GOP Chairman Joe Gruters as the Florida Chairman of Donald J. Trump for President campaign. Gruters has been a longstanding Trump supporter, aiding him to be the first two-time Sarasota GOP “Statesman of the Year” award winner in both 2012 and again on May 21 of 2015.
The GOP frontrunner has a long history with the city of Sarasota, and the Donald J. Trump for President campaign’s clear intentions to make the city his state-wide headquarters ensures that Sarasota and Trump will be in close contact, highlighted by his campaign rally the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
Information from the Florida Atlantic University Business and Economics Polling Initiative, and the Florida Department of State