President Donald Trump will travel to the Land of Enchantment this week to hold a rally in preparation for his 2020 presidential campaign.
He will be at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on Monday, Sept. 16, and both the City of Albuquerque and the City of Rio Rancho are preparing for the event. The rally is expected to draw thousands.
All Rio Rancho city offices will be closed on Monday, and Rio Rancho public schools will similarly be shuttered for the day. The Rio Rancho Police headquarters and Municipal Court will also be closed — however, Bernalillo County offices in downtown Albuquerque will remain open until 2 p.m.
This is not the first time Bernalillo County has received a visit from Trump. He held a rally in Albuquerque back in May 2016 before being elected president. The 2016 rally became heated between protestors and police outside of the Albuquerque Convention Center, which has spurred concerns for the upcoming rally. According to the Daily Lobo, the 2016 rally drew nearly 8,000 attendees, with hundreds of protestors packed outside.
Several groups have issued press releases in response to Trump’s visit to New Mexico.
“New Mexicans deserve a president who celebrates and appreciates all of the hardworking people who keep our country moving forward," The New Mexico Democratic Party said. "Our state does not support this administration’s un-American agenda, and Democrats will be loud and clear in our opposition to President Trump’s hateful rhetoric.”
Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman and former U.S. Representative for the 2nd Congressional District Steve Pearce released a statement of his own prior to Trump's event.
"We’re excited that President Trump and his team see New Mexico as a state they can flip," Pearce said. "We believe that New Mexicans (are) fed up with the socialist left agenda, and we are ready to stand with the President as he leads us to victory in 2020.”
Doors to the event will open at 4 p.m., and the event will begin at 7 p.m. Heavy traffic is expected — hence the shutdown of government offices and schools — so those attending or protesting the event should budget enough time to arrive early. There will be a designated peaceful protest area directly across from the event.
Megan Holmen is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @megan_holmen.