Donald Trump is coming back to Texas.
And unlike most Republican presidential nominees, Trump is not dropping in simply to collect campaign cash. The presumptive 2016 nominee will blitz the state over the next two days, holding two rallies and three fundraisers in four different cities.
Trump has been scheduled since earlier this month to attend fundraisers Thursday evening in Dallas, Friday afternoon in San Antonio and Friday evening in Houston. His campaign announced Wednesday that he will also hold rallies later Thursday evening in Dallas and later Friday evening in The Woodlands, a suburb of Houston.
The main purpose of Trump’s trip remains fundraising. Mica Mosbacher, a former fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz who is helping with Trump’s events in Texas, said she is “very hopeful that we’ll raise at least $3 or $4 million.”
Trump is receiving some high-profile assistance from former Gov. Rick Perry and San Antonio car dealer Red McCombs, who are serving as honorary co-chairs of at least some of the fundraisers, according to sources. Perry is believed to be set to attend the Houston and San Antonio fundraisers.
“We need to present a united front,” said Mosbacher, who acknowledged she does not always agree with Trump. “Yes, Donald’s rhetoric is not diplomatic and it’s inflammatory, but what you see is what you get.”
Her message to Texas Republicans still withholding their support from Trump: “Shame on you if you’re not going to support the nominee and throw the election to Hillary.”
Texas has long been a stop on the campaign trail for Republican presidential nominees looking to raise campaign cash. What’s unusual is the Trump campaign’s decision to hold public events in a reliably red state — one that the party’s previous nominee, Mitt Romney, won by 16 points.
“Maybe he feels like he needs to make up with Ted Cruz supporters,” said Wade Emmert, former chairman of the Dallas County GOP. “Maybe he feels like he’s going to bring the crowd together in some way. I would expect he kind of wants to shore up Texas.”
At first, Trump’s campaign had struggled to find a venue for a public event in the Dallas area. It approached at least two cities, Irving and Grand Prairie, but both declined, saying they did not have enough time to prepare for such an event, which is likely to draw large crowds and big protests.
“In consultation with the Irving Police Department, the city of Irving decided it was not given sufficient time — given a 48 hour notice — to gather the resources necessary to ensure the safety and security of those attending such a large scale, high-profile event,” Irving spokeswoman Susan Rose said in a statement.
Trump’s campaign ultimately found a venue in Dallas: Gilley’s South Side Ballroom. The Woodlands rally is being held at the city’s Waterway Hotel and Convention Center.
Disclosure: Red McCombs has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. Find a complete list of donors and sponsors here.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/15/texas-braces-trumps-first-visit-republican-nominee/.