As summer heats up, so does the 2024 presidential campaign.

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign opened its first Pennsylvania headquarters Tuesday in the Holmesburg neighborhood in Philadelphia. Surrogates emphasized the campaign’s outreach to black voters.

The narrow, former rowhouse was packed with people, many of them reporters, eager to hear Texas Republican Congressman Wesley Hunt who was the guest speaker.

Pennsylvania GOP Chair Lawrence Tabas said the voting gap between Republicans and Democrats in the state has narrowed from 900,000 to 350,000 in the last few years since he’s been the party leader.

“I think it’s important to recognize we need new leadership in America. We need new leadership in Pennsylvania,” said Tabas. “Bidenomics has been a failure. Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The cost of living is going up fast. Mortgage rates are at a high.”

Pennsylvanians and Americans are not safe in their “own neighborhoods like they deserve.”

“Finally, the border crisis,” said Tabas. “One of the worst aspects of that is fentanyl, the opioids coming across the border. There’s been over a 70 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths as a result of the fentanyl flooding across our borders. This is a crisis of national proportions. It doesn’t just happen in Philadelphia.”

Hunt, a former Army captain and West Point graduate who served in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said he comes from a military family where 18 members served. “We are all Americans. We’re all in this boat together,” he said.

“Black issues are American issues,” said Hunt. “We hate what’s happening at the border.  We don’t like being unsafe.” Like everyone, black Americans are concerned with inflation, high prices, the cost of housing, he said.

“We cannot have four more years of this,” he said. “We cannot have four more years of Biden and Harris.”

“America is the greatest country in the world,” said Hunt. “God called me to serve my country in combat. We are calling you to serve your country on Nov. 5.”

People should not allow Democrats to divide them “by race, religion, color, or creed. That’s a bunch of crap. We’re all Americans,” said Hunt. “Let’s fight together to save our country.”

Answering questions from reporters, Hunt said the Trump campaign is reaching out to black voters, who traditionally vote Democratic, because “You have to go fishing where the fish are.”

DVJournal asked Hunt how concerned he is that Trump was convicted in New York and faces other court cases. Billboards that say, “I’m a former Trump voter. I won’t vote for a convicted felon,” are already dotting highways in the Delaware Valley area.

“I am absolutely concerned about it,” said Hunt. “But if you look at the last 72 hours, we have raised almost $200 million, and one-third of those were actually new donors. Look at what’s happened with the American people and how we feel about it. It was a sham. If he was not running for president, he would not be in this position in the first place. And so, we’re like, ‘Know what? How about this? Instead of rioting, instead of looting, instead of going out, we’re going to give our money to fight this election here in November. And, quite frankly, I’m not the only one and I’ve got 200 million reasons why.”

Asked about Trump now encouraging Republicans to vote by mail, Hunt said, “We’ve got to win outside of the margin of cheating,” said Hunt. “Look what’s happening with every swing state. If we continue this trend and Biden continues his cognitive decline, we’re going to do just fine. The one thing, [Trump] wants to make sure, we want to win outside the margins. That’s why I’m here.”

Hunt said the campaign hopes to garner 25 to 30 percent of the black male vote.

People who spoke to DVJournal were enthusiastic about Trump. A campaign aide said they’d signed up about 40 volunteers.

“Oh, my God, yeah,” said Jean Berry of Philadelphia, when asked if she plans to vote for Trump. “I love him.” She called the New York trial “a farce.”

“I’m anxious to see how Biden’s son makes out,” she said, about Hunter Biden who is being tried in Delaware for lying on a federal form when he purchased a gun. “He’s going to get away with it. He’s got his father on his side.”

Mina Quarls of Philadelphia, said she is, “Absolutely going to vote for Trump. I can’t wait. I’ll do anything I can to see he gets reelected.”

Huntingdon Valley resident Pat Gallo said, “I really hope (Trump) makes it. “I feel the energy is like 2016. If he has to rule from prison, he has to rule from prison.”

Asked about the Trump campaign effort to reach black voters, Guy Ciarrocchi, a Chester County resident who ran for Congress and writes for Broad + Liberty, said, “Candidate Trump is doing what he did as president: reaching out to everyone, not only to ask for votes but to listen to their concerns. It’s what he did as an entrepreneur — work with everyone to get the job done and give back. Read what black leaders said about him in the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

“Democrats and their allies are yelling so loudly because they know two things: Trump’s outreach is effective, and they’ve failed black voters on inflation, crime, and schools—and those voters know it,” he added.

Later Tuesday evening, Hunt and U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) held a “Congress, Cognac and Cigars” event at a cigar bar in Philadelphia, again reaching out to black voters for Trump.

Linda Stein is News Editor at Delaware Valley Journal.

This article was originally published at Delaware Valley Journal.

2 thoughts on “Trump campaign opens first Pennsylvania office in Northeast Philly”

  1. Trump is not reaching out to Black voters, he is reaching out to “the Blacks”. As if they were a monolithic entity and not a diverse group of people. “Read what black leaders said about him in the 80s, 90s and 2000s.” I’d actually like to know what Black leaders are saying about Trump today.

    Everyone who is quoted in this is identified by name, except this person. I wonder why? “Asked about the Trump campaign effort to reach black voters, a Chester County resident who ran for Congress and writes for Broad + Liberty,”

  2. Well, according to Joe Biden, If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.
    I guess democrats have been considering them ‘monolithic entity’ for some time. LBJ made that very clear.
    You should re-read the paragraph with the unidentified person again.

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