Trump makes quick but lucrative campaign stop in Louisiana

By: - July 26, 2023 11:21 am

A supporter of former President Donald Trump waves a flag in front of a Metairie, Louisiana, home next to the site of a July 25, 2023, fundraiser for Trump. (Greg LaRose/Louisiana Illuminator)

METAIRIE, La. — Former President Donald Trump spent a few hours Tuesday evening in Louisiana among well-heeled supporters who want to return him to the White House in the 2024 election.

Trump’s state campaign chairmen in his two previous presidential runs — retired shipbuilder Boysie Bollinger and developer and former banker Joe Canizaro — hosted a fundraiser at Canizaro’s mansion in Old Metairie. Individuals and couples paid $23,200 to attend and could contribute another $3,300 for a place at a VIP reception.

Trump’s endorsed candidate in this year’s Louisiana governor’s race, Attorney General Jeff Landry, was first to greet the former president after his plane landed at Armstrong International Airport, where about a hundred supporters were also on hand.

Before making his way to the fundraiser, Trump made a stop at Café du Monde in the French Quarter, where he bought beignets and coffee.

After greeting diners, Trump took questions from reporters and was asked about a possible indictment — potentially the third for the frontrunner for the Republican Party presidential nomination next year.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump said, according to a WVUE Fox 8 report. “We have a crooked nation, and we have a lot of crooked people running our nation. Our country is failing, and we have to turn it around.”

Trump already faces charges in New York for alleged hush money payments from his 2016 campaign to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He has also been formally accused of mishandling classified documents after leaving office, notably keeping boxes of them in a bedroom and bathroom at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

Authorities in Georgia are expected to bring racketeering charges against Trump for his role in trying to change the results of the 2020 election.

Trump has carried Louisiana handily in his two previous presidential bids, receiving 58% of the vote in 2016 and 2020.

A survey of state voters in February from Put Louisiana First, a nonprofit led by prominent Republican business leaders, showed Trump with 38% support, with President Joe Biden getting 34% and 29% for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

While the Louisiana Republican Party endorsed Landry for the governor’s race 10 months ago — qualifying is in two weeks for the Oct. 14 election — its members will not officially back a candidate in the 2024 presidential race until after next spring’s primary election.

Despite his looming criminal concerns, several Trump supporters lined a section of the street near Canizaro’s home ahead of his arrival. Some lingered afterward and shouted at about two dozen protestors who stationed themselves across from the fundraiser. The protestors jeered Trump and Landry as each made their exit.

Organizers from the Real Name Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, made up most of the protestors. They gathered at a nearby shopping center and marched roughly a half-mile with a loudspeaker in tow. Jefferson Parish deputies kept all onlookers confined to the sidewalks across the neutral ground from Canizaro’s property.

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Greg LaRose
Greg LaRose

Greg LaRose has covered news for more than 30 years in Louisiana. Before coming to the Louisiana Illuminator, he was the chief investigative reporter for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He previously led the government and politics team for The Times-Picayune |, and was editor in chief at New Orleans CityBusiness. Greg's other career stops include Tiger Rag, South Baton Rouge Journal, the Covington News Banner, Louisiana Radio Network and multiple radio stations.