ACA.trumpgov.042.101219

President Donald Trump holds a rally Friday, October 11, 2019, at the Civic Center in Lake Charles, La.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Monroe on Wednesday in support of GOP gubernatorial candidate Eddie Rispone, who is hoping to unseat incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.

A Trump spokesman confirmed Thursday that Trump will travel to north Louisiana next week, which had been expected in the run-up to the Nov. 16 runoff in the governor's race. 

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Trump's re-election campaign, said the president plans to highlight his administration's successes for Louisiana.

"President Trump looks forward to celebrating these successes with the people of Louisiana," Glassner said.

This rally will be the first time a sitting president holds an official visit in northeast Louisiana since Ronald Reagan in 1983.

The Trump rally in support of Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman who has campaigned off his similarities to the president, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Monroe Civic Center. People who want to attend can sign up online at the Trump 2020 re-election campaign site.

The Monroe News-Star first reported that Trump had picked Monroe for his next rally, citing the city's mayor.

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, an Alto Republican who unsuccessfully sought the GOP slot to challenge Edwards in the upcoming election and who represents the district that covers Monroe, confirmed the site before its initial announcement.

"I appreciate (Trump) making the time to visit Monroe next week," Abraham tweeted Thursday. "The people of Louisiana's 5th District love their President and support him all the way. His visit to northeast Louisiana will be a historic moment this region will never forget."

Trump was last in Louisiana earlier this month for a rally in Lake Charles ahead of the primary that had Rispone and Abraham pitted against each other for a spot to challenge Edwards' re-election bid.

Thousands of people turned out for the Lake Charles rally, where Trump encouraged voters to support one of the Republican candidates — either Rispone or Abraham — over Edwards.

Edwards' campaign dismissed the president's upcoming rally in north Louisiana.

"It's no surprise that when it's time for politicking, the president is doing what's expected of him and supporting a member of his political party. But when it comes time for governing, Gov. Edwards will continue the good working relationship he and President Trump have had," Edwards campaign spokesman Eric Holl said. "Gov. Edwards has been to the White House nine times to visit with the president on issues important to Louisiana like infrastructure, criminal justice reform, and the opioid epidemic."

Email Elizabeth Crisp at ecrisp@theadvocate.com and follow on Twitter, @elizabethcrisp.