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Trump returning to La Crosse for fundraiser next week

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Donald Trump plans to return to La Crosse next week for a high-rolling fundraiser, and once again the state’s top Republican leaders won’t be there.

Trump plans to stop in La Crosse and Milwaukee to raise money on Tuesday, based on invitations obtained by The Associated Press. Attendees are asked to give at least $2,700 per person, while couples who donate or raise $100,000 can be designated an event co-chair.

Don and LaVonne Zietlow, who own the Kwik Trip convenience store chain, are hosts of the La Crosse event. Logistics Health founder Don Weber is another La Crosse host.

Giving or raising $15,000 gets attendees a “photo opportunity” with Trump.

The campaign has not released details, but Trump typically also holds public campaign stops while in battleground states.

Trump spoke to a crowd of 1,700 people the day before Wisconsin’s April 5 primary, which U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz won 41.4 to 37.2 percent. La Crosse County voters favored Trump 41.4 to 37.2 percent.

Just like last week when Trump was in Green Bay, the state’s highest-ranking Republicans won’t be around Tuesday.

Gov. Scott Walker had previously committed to being in Colorado as part of a Republican governors’ panel at the Aspen Institute. House Speaker Paul Ryan will also be unavailable due to a family trip. Ryan cited scheduling conflicts when he missed Trump’s Green Bay stop.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson also missed Trump in Green Bay. His campaign spokesman did not immediately return a message Friday asking whether Johnson would make it to any Trump events next week.

While Ryan, Walker and Johnson all back Trump, they have also distanced themselves from him and some of his more controversial comments and positions.

Walker skipped Trump’s last stop in the state in favor of attending an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner fundraiser. On Tuesday, Walker will join with Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts for a panel discussion about “how their policies are making a difference and the challenges that lie ahead,” according to the website touting the event in Colorado.

Walker has appeared twice in Wisconsin with Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, including Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Both Johnson and Walker are listed as honorary hosts for both fundraisers. More vocal Trump supporters, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, are also listed as honorary chairmen.

Murph and John Burke, who are hosting the Milwaukee fundraiser, are real estate developers. In addition to giving money to Walker, they also donated to three other former GOP presidential candidates — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and businesswoman Carly Fiorina.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by 15 points among likely voters in Wisconsin. Clinton has yet to return to Wisconsin since losing the state’s April primary to Bernie Sanders. Her running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, held a rally at a Milwaukee brewery last week.

Tribune staff contributed to this report.


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