NICEVILLE — Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, is scheduled to come to the Northwest Florida State College Arena on Aug. 2 to campaign for Congressman Matt Gaetz, R-1st, and GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis.
Peter Holland, a spokesman for the Gaetz campaign, confirmed the campaign event to the Daily News on Monday. He said the event will begin at 7 p.m.
Gaetz, who is up for reelection this year for Florida’s First Congressional District, said he is “honored to have the support of President Trump and his family.”
A spokesperson for the college confirmed their facilities were being rented for a Gaetz campaign event on Aug. 2.
Gaetz has been one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress and has enjoyed support from the Commander In Chief, even speaking at the President’s rally in Pensacola last year. The President has voiced support for Gaetz as well as Ron DeSantis, a Republican running against GOP frontrunner Adam Putnam for governor of Florida.
It’s likely that Gaetz’s campaign event will draw fervent support in a county that voted overwhelmingly for Trump. However, the Progressives of Northwest Florida, a left-leaning group, announced Sunday it would be organizing a protest against Trump Jr.’s visit, according to Tracey Tapp, Action Committee chair for the group.
Tapp said more than 100 people were expected to join the protest, and they will be joined with the Northwest Florida State College Gay Straight Alliance for the event.
“I think many people are really concerned about the direction our country is going in,” Tapp said. “I don’t think authoritarianism and fascism are too strong of words to use … the only thing that’s required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. We’re standing on our morals and principals.”
Mark Franks, chairman of the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee, said he was pleased to hear about the scheduled Trump Jr. visit.
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“There’s going to be a lot of energy in the air with this visit and I believe Trump Jr. is coming to Okaloosa because they know Northwest Florida is a pivotal stop for any Republican race,” Franks said. “The Panhandle is a large area that turns out votes and can make or break an election. We are a very active and enthusiastic group and we look forward to the next two months and welcome all Republican candidates who want to earn our vote.”
The Gaetz campaign spokesman said free tickets will be available via Eventbrite closer to the date of the rally.
Gaetz faces two opponents in the Republican primary, Cris Dosev and John Mills.
The Florida primary is Aug. 28 and the general election is Nov. 6.