EUGENE, OR -- Donald Trump will host his first Oregon campaign rally Friday evening, in Eugene. Bend businessman and candidate for U.S. Senate Sam Carpenter announced his endorsement for the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee, last week. He plans to attend the rally. "We’re going to have a private meeting, and that’ll be fun. That’ll be the first time I’ve met him." He tells KBND News the Trump campaign requested the meeting. Carpenter faces three other Republicans in the May Primary. He believes Oregon's race for the GOP nomination has caught national attention because of the potential gains for the party if high-ranking Democratic Senator Ron Wyden were to lose his seat.
Carpenter says appearing in a liberal community, like Eugene, is a bold move for Trump. "We entrepreneurs, the successful entrepreneurs get right down into it and get into the belly of the beast, and that’s what he’s doing. I love this gesture of coming to Eugene. If you’re going to solve a problem, you’ve got to get into the middle of what it’s all about and you don’t dilly-dally around, and you don’t talk; you take care of it."
Eugene Police are preparing for what could be large demonstrations against Trump. Chief Pete Kerns says they're learning from what's happened at past Trump events. "Without any question, there is some violence tied to these rallies. We’ve seen what’s occurred in other cities, we know how police departments have prepared for those and how it’s gone for them." Several nearby police agencies are helping, along with Portland and Oregon State Police. Chief Kerns says local governments pay the costs for these events. "It’s an unanticipated expense, and we keep room in our spending in order to afford this kind of thing."
He says those attending the rally will go through heavy security and should arrive early to account for anticipated long lines. Admission to the Lane Events Center is reportedly on a first-come, first-serve basis, up to 5,000 people. Trump is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m.