CASPER — Former President Donald Trump will appear at a May 28 rally in Casper, he announced in a statement Monday.
The city has for months been discussed as a possible site for a Trump rally. But it wasn’t until Monday that Casper’s Ford Wyoming Center was confirmed as the location for what will be Trump’s first political appearance in the state.
It’s not surprising that the former president would choose Casper. The Ford Wyoming Center is the largest indoor venue in Wyoming, with a capacity of more than 8,000 people.
There is symbolism as well. The Cheney family hails from Casper, and Trump has made it his mission to defeat Rep. Liz Cheney after she voted to impeach him following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Cheney remains Trump’s most outspoken Republican critic, and she is serving as vice-chair of the committee tasked with investigating the events of Jan. 6.
Trump is appearing in support of land attorney Harriet Hageman, his pick to challenge Cheney in the highly anticipated August Republican primary.
“It will be a tremendous honor and incredibly exciting to have President Trump visit with us and it will no doubt be the largest political event in Wyoming history,” Hageman said in a statement. “His policies were the best that we have ever seen, from building the greatest economy in the world, to driving America to energy independence, to enforcing our immigration laws, and I expect thousands of Wyomingites to come out to thank him enthusiastically.”
The race for Wyoming’s lone House seat has drawn considerable national attention, attracting well-known political figures to the state including Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, both of whom have campaigned against Cheney.
Many observers see Wyoming’s House race as a symbolic battle in the broader war between Republicans who support the former president and those who oppose him.
Polling shows that Trump remains deeply popular in the state.
In the 2016 and 2020 elections, Wyoming voted for Trump at a higher rate than any other state, with the Republican receiving 68.2 percent of the vote in 2016 and 69.9 percent of voters in 2020.
The former president’s popularity here among Republicans resulted in a strong backlash when Cheney began to speak out against him after the Jan. 6 riot. Wyoming Republican Party leaders censured her in February 2021 and then later voted to no longer recognize her as a Republican, a symbolic move.
Cheney hasn’t flinched. She’s continued to forcefully describe Trump as a threat to democracy.
Meanwhile, her national stature has grown, and she continues to rake in huge sums of campaign contributions, with donations coming from across the country. While Cheney and Hageman are the highest-profile candidates in the race, they are not the only ones.
State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, was the first Republican to announce a challenge to Cheney. Retired Army Col. Denton Knapp is also seeking the Republican nomination.
Hageman entered relatively late compared to the other candidates but did so with the coveted Trump endorsement. May 28 will be the first time they campaign together.
Ford Wyoming Center officials say they were approached last year about the possibility of holding a Trump rally at the venue. Cheyenne was also discussed as a possible location.
Parking for the event is set for 6 a.m. Doors will open at 11 a.m., with speakers starting at 1 p.m. Trump is scheduled to speak at 4 p.m.