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Donald Trump Plans First Campaign Trip To Oregon And Washington

<p>Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Monday, May 2, 2016, in South Bend, Ind.</p>

Charles Rex Arbogast

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop Monday, May 2, 2016, in South Bend, Ind.

Donald Trump will be campaigning in Eugene on Friday evening and also appears headed to Vancouver, Washington, on Saturday.

Sources close to the Trump campaign say he will appear at 7 p.m. at the Lane Events Center at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene.

At the same time, the billionaire businessman’s Washington director, state Sen. Don Benton, says he is “pushing hard” to arrange a Vancouver rally for Trump.

"There is indeed going to be a Donald Trump visit to Washington state on Saturday," Benton said. "We are pursuing multiple locations."

For weeks, there has been speculation that Trump would visit Vancouver, Spokane and the Puget Sound area ahead of Washington's Republican primary.

Last month, Trump told Clark County supporters in a phone call that he hoped to be in Vancouver this coming Saturday. One merchandise vendor is already advertising on craigslist for sales clerks to work a Trump rally in Vancouver.

Oregon’s primary is May 17 and Washington Republicans will hold a primary one week later. A visit to the Vancouver area would attract free media attention to his candidacy in both states.

While Oregon is reliably Democratic in presidential elections in the fall, there are signs that Trump could do well in the Northwest. For example, a poll of Oregon Republicans released last week showed Trump with a 17-point lead over rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich.

Copyright 2016 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Jeff Mapes is a senior political reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, Jeff covered state and national politics for The Oregonian for nearly 32 years. He has covered numerous presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and ballot measure campaigns, as well as many sessions of the Legislature, stretching back to 1985. Jeff graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in journalism.