Donald Trump plans April campaign stop in Utah

Republican Nikki Haley’s campaign is also reportedly planning a campaign event in Utah in early February.

(Matt Rourke | AP) Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. Trump is planning to campaign in Utah this spring.

Plans are underway for Republican presidential frontrunner and former President Donald Trump to hold a campaign event in the Beehive State sometime in April. His leading GOP contender, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, may also bring her campaign to Utah next month.

Utah GOP Chair Rob Axson tells The Salt Lake Tribune the Trump campaign hasn’t yet settled on an exact date.

“I know it will be in April sometime,” Axson said. “I think the last I heard was in mid-April.”

Haley is planning to visit Utah in early February, Axson said, but that could change given the mercurial nature of the presidential campaign season.

“We had a number of the candidates that were going to come out here, and then the race just didn’t materialize for them,” he told The Tribune. “I had three presidential candidates who were supposed to be here in January and then another two that were supposed to be here in February. And the race changed.”

Most of the Republican candidates dropped out of the race either before or following the recent Iowa Caucuses, winnowing the field down to Trump and Haley.

Axson would prefer the two remaining GOP candidates visit Utah before the party’s presidential preference vote, which will be held during the biennial neighborhood caucus meetings on Super Tuesday, March 5. But, if Trump does travel to Utah in April, it should boost interest in the party’s 2024 nominating convention scheduled for April 27.

(Charles Krupa | AP) Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley waves to the audience as she speaks at a New Hampshire primary night rally, in Concord, N.H., Tuesday Jan. 23, 2024.

“I want presidential candidates, even Democrats, I want Joe Biden to come out here to Utah because I think the more often that he gets out of his echo chamber of Washington, DC and sees real life and sees Utahns, that’s beneficial,” Axson said. “I’m a big believer, any presidential candidate, whether it’s Robert Kennedy, whether it’s Donald Trump, whether it’s any other Republican or candidate, whether it’s Joe Biden, come on out to Utah and learn from us.”

The Trump and Haley campaigns did not immediately respond to emails from The Tribune seeking comment or confirmation.

Trump has not campaigned in Utah since a March 2016 rally in Salt Lake City that saw supporters and protesters clash outside of the venue in Salt Lake City. That same year, he caused Fox News to cancel a GOP primary debate scheduled to be held in Salt Lake City after he refused to attend. Trump came to Utah once during his presidency in 2017 to sign an order reversing or reducing two national monuments in the state.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Vt. Sen. Bernie Sanders rallies his supporters at the Utah State Fairpark, March 2, 2020, one day before Utah's Super Tuesday primary.

One of the largest political events in recent Utah history came during the 2020 presidential race when thousands of people packed This is the Place Heritage Park for a Bernie Sanders campaign rally.

A handful of Republican candidates visited Utah to fundraise during the current campaign season but did not hold public campaign events. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the keynote speaker at the 2023 Utah Republican Convention before he officially launched his presidential run, then made a repeat visit to the state a few months later to pick up the endorsements of several Republican lawmakers.

President Joe Biden’s visit to Utah last summer included a fundraising event for his reelection campaign.