For nearly three hours on Thursday, former President Donald Trump met with a group of Nevada State GOP officials at his Mar-a-Lago club, which was his first direct outreach to party leaders of the early primary state, a Trump campaign official confirms.
Trump discussed political strategy and campaigning in the battleground state and said he would make a trip within the next couple months, or sooner, to the Silver State. Trump campaign officials also briefed the Nevada GOP leaders on their 2024 path.
The dinner was the latest example of the Trump campaign's aggressive outreach to state and local party officials in the early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and beyond. Unlike his disorganized 2016 bid for the White House, Trump and his 2024 campaign have pushed a strategic, and early, focus on state GOP leaders and likely delegates to next year's Republican National Convention, according to Trump campaign sources.
Senior Trump campaign adviser Brian Jack, who was at Thursday's dinner along with senior campaign cohorts Susie Wiles and Jason Miller, among others, has taken the lead on reaching out to state party leaders.
Other 2024 rivals, like former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and potential primary opponents to Trump like former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina also are increasing their presence and imprint in early states like Iowa, South Carolina and New Hampshire. Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential GOP contender, head to Iowa next week, respectively. Trump heads to the Hawkeye State three days later.
On the same day as the Nevada GOP dinner, and only three miles away from Mar-a-Lago at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, DeSantis addressed a closed-door. DeSantis framed himself as a new Republican leader who was not afraid to engage in a culture clash on issues that matter most to the GOP base.
"I'm going on offense," DeSantis said in a 40-minute speech, according to a source in the room." Some of these Republicans, they just sit back like potted plants and they let the media define the terms of the debate, they let the left define the terms of debate, they take all this incoming, because they're not making anything happen."
The Club for Growth, who previously supported Trump, did not invite the former president to attend. The influential conservative group with connections to high-dollar donors told CBS earlier this year that they are looking for a new GOP standard bearer to move past Trump, and win back the White House.
DeSantis remarks at the Club for Growth meetings were first reported by CNN.
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