Trump to Raise $5 Million in North Carolina in Return to Trail

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump is set to raise $5 million at a fundraiser in swing-state North Carolina on Saturday as the presumptive Republican nominee returns to the campaign trail after a week that saw him sidelined by a Manhattan criminal trial.

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Hosts of the fundraiser in Charlotte include Roddey Dowd Jr. of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co. and entrepreneur Andy Albright as well as Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley, co-Chair Lara Trump and committeeman Ed Broyhill, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg News.

Tickets for the fundraiser range from $5,000 per couple to $250,000, according to the invite. Trump will hold a rally later Saturday in Wilmington, North Carolina. The campaign also is offering a $25,000 “photo opportunity and VIP experience” for the rally.

Saturday’s rally is Trump’s first since his criminal trial in New York over alleged hush-money payments to an adult film star began this week. The former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee faces four criminal cases in an unprecedented set of circumstances for a presidential candidate — a situation that has pulled him from the campaign trail at a critical stretch in the general election and been a drain on his 2024 war chest.

Trump badly lags President Joe Biden in fundraising. Last month, the former president and the RNC raised $65.6 million, much of which came from deep-pocketed donors, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures. He and the RNC ended the month with $93.1 million in the bank.

Biden and the Democratic Party raised $90 million in March, ending the month with $192 million on hand.

The former president has sought to capitalize on his days away from court to campaign and fundraise and has looked for novel ways to raise cash. His campaign wants other Republicans to pay over a portion of any money they raise when using Trump’s name, image or likeness in fundraising solicitations, according to a campaign memo.

Earlier: Trump Presses Republicans for Kickbacks When Using His Likeness

His fundraising apparatus has come under scrutiny as political action committees allied with Trump have spent more than $54 million on legal fees connected to his criminal indictments and other civil cases.

Trump won North Carolina in both of his prior presidential campaigns, but Biden is looking to put the state into play in 2024.

According to the March Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll, Trump leads Biden in North Carolina 49% to 43%. The importance of the state is highlighted by Whatley and Lara Trump, both of whom hail from North Carolina and were tapped by Trump to lead the RNC.

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