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Government & Politics

Trump will hold a rally near Columbus ahead of the May 3 primary

President Donald Trump with supporters behind him
Evan El-Amin
President-Elect Donald Trump arrives on stage to deliver a speech at a thank you tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 2016.

Former President Donald Trump is returning to Ohio to try to boost Republican candidates and turnout ahead of the May 3 primary.

Trump will headline an evening rally at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, north of Columbus, on April 23.

He'll stump for U.S. House candidate Max Miller, his pick for the 7th Congressional District, and perhaps for U.S. Senate or governor choices he's yet to make.

News of the rally comes as early voting figures suggest turnout in the populous Midwest battleground Trump won twice by overwhelming margins may be severely depressed this year.

The Secretary of State's office reported 6,058 ballots have been cast in the Republican primary as of April 8, compared to 5,672 Democratic primary ballots.

In Summit County, 1,566 Republican primary ballots have been requested either by mail or in person as of Tuesday evening. Democratic ballots total 2,173.

In Delaware County where Trump is scheduled to appear, the board of elections reports 996 Republican ballots have been requested either by mail or in person compared to 605 Democratic ballots as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Trump rallied his supporters in June 2021 at the Lorain County Fairgrounds where he promoted Republican candidates including Miller, his former adviser, and attacked Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez who voted to impeach Trump following the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

Gonzalez announced in September he would not seek reelection, saying on his social media account "the toxic dynamics inside our own party, is a significant factor in my decision.”

Gonzalez isn't the only Ohio Republican to pull out of this year's election. Rep. Bob Gibbs, who has served in Congress since 2010, announced his retirement last week after early voting had already begun. He was facing Miller in the primary under the newly drawn congressional district map.

With the state legislative maps still tied up in litigation, Ohio Senate and House races are not included on the May 3 ballot.