Trump to Hold First Rally of New Year in Arizona Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 9, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 31 December 2021 12:07 PM
Former President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will hold his first 2022 rally in the swing state of Arizona.
Trump said the rally, scheduled for 7 p.m. local time on Saturday, Jan. 15, will be held at the Country Thunder Festival Grounds in Florence, Arizona.
The former president is heading to the Grand Canyon State after having lost the state to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election by little more than 10,000 votes. It was just the second time — Bill Clinton in 1996 was the other — since 1952 that the state voted for a Democrat in a presidential election.
Trump and his allies have said that voter fraud in several key battleground states, including Arizona, gave Biden the election.
A Republican-backed review of the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, Arizona's largest county, ended without proof that the election was stolen.
Politico reported late last month that Trump led Biden by 8 percentage points in Arizona.
Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who leads in a recent poll, indicated on Twitter that she’ll be at the rally.
"President Trump is coming to Arizona! His first rally of 2022 will be in Florence, Arizona. Arizona can’t wait to see our favorite president," Lake tweeted Thursday.
The former president's last visit to Arizona was for a two-hour rally on July 24. He visited the state seven times in 2020 before the election, the Arizona Republic reported.
The January rally begins a year in which Republicans hope to regain control of Congress. The party heads into the midterms considering Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly's seat winnable.
Top Arizona law enforcement officials last month said Kelly is all words and no action when it comes to supporting public safety and border security.
Earlier this month, the GOP said they were targeting the state’s Latino voters to defeat Kelly. The Senate Republican Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee each released ads aimed at Hispanic voters.
Trump previously announced he will hold a news conference on Jan. 6, the anniversary of "the completely unarmed protest of the rigged" 2020 election.
Fox News drew outrage from its viewers when it called Arizona just minutes after polls closed on election night 2020, while still failing to call Florida for Trump, even though voting had closed almost two hours earlier.