Trump campaign makes first Minnesota campaign hire

President Donald Trump smiles at the crowd inside of Amsoil Arena in Duluth, Minn. on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

President Trump’s reelection campaign now has a full-time state director on the ground in Minnesota, a state he narrowly lost in 2016 but has hopes of flipping next year.

Tim Lagerman will head up the Minnesota efforts for Trump, according to state party officials and the biography details on Lagerman’s social media accounts. Most recently, Lagerman was political director for the Pennsylvania Republican Party but has also held political jobs in Maryland and for the National Rifle Association.

Trump intends to formally launch his campaign for a second term on Tuesday in Florida. In Minnesota and around the country, supporters plan watch parties for his evening rally.

A Trump victory in Minnesota won’t come easy. No Republican has taken the state’s 10 electoral votes since Richard Nixon in 1972. It’s the longest unbroken streak for Democrats of any state in the country.

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Trump won most of Minnesota’s counties in his first race but came up short in the more-populated areas and fell to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by 1.5 percentage points. He won neighboring states, and has said since that he should have made more visits to Minnesota.

He’s held a couple of political rallies in the state since becoming president. He last visited in April for a roundtable on taxes.

Minnesota Democrats say they’re ready to play defense. The candidates vying for the party’s nomination have yet to pay significant attention to or set up campaign infrastructure in the state, perhaps because native-born Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in the field.

Minnesota holds its presidential primary on March 3 as part of Super Tuesday.