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Trump to hold rally April 17 at First Niagara Center

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential frontrunner whose rallies have drawn thousands of supporters along with clashes with protesters, is bringing his road show to Buffalo two days before New York’s April 19 presidential primaries.

A source close to the Trump campaign confirmed that the billionaire candidate will be in Buffalo on April 17.

The Trump rally will be at 7 p.m. at the First Niagara Center, according to a tweet from Michael R. Caputo, a political operative with ties to the Trump campaign.

A third source said details of the rally remain to be finalized, and that it could be earlier than 7 p.m. April 17.

Trump’s appearance is likely to make Buffalo the center of the political universe for a day.

The rally – set for the largest venue of any Trump event in New York scheduled to date – is likely to feature just what almost every other Trump rally features: a colorful ad-lib address by a longtime reality TV star-turned-politician, along with impassioned protests outside and perhaps inside the arena.

Trump has catapulted himself into the GOP frontrunner position with a series of nationalistic policy proposals, including building a wall at the Mexican border, expelling 11 million undocumented immigrants and barring Muslims from entering the United States.

But those very policy proposals have prompted the protests from those who see Trump’s policies as a step backward toward racism.

The Buffalo event also comes at a critical time for Trump, after a loss in the Wisconsin primary to his chief rival, Sen. Ted Cruz.

Trump – who holds a commanding lead in all polls of the Republican race in New York – will be looking to maximize his haul of the state’s 95 GOP delegates in hopes of building momentum for later primaries.

Trump now needs a strong majority of delegates going forward to ensure his nomination on the first ballot of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. Political pundits now think it’s increasingly unlikely that Trump will get the required 1,237 delegates before the convention, meaning the GOP could face a chaotic series of convention votes in pursuit of a presidential nominee.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com

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