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President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a “Merry Christmas Rally” Dec. 18 in Battle Creek, marking his fourth visit to Michigan since taking office in 2017.

The rally at the Kellogg Arena will be Trump’s first visit to Michigan since a re-election rally in March in Grand Rapids. The rally will occur about two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence's Wednesday trip to the state.

The Dec. 18 rally will be held in the district of U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Cascade Township, a Republican who turned independent on July 4 and has backed impeachment of Trump. Four Republicans are competing for the party's nomination while two Democrats vie to take on Amash and the eventual GOP nominee in November 2020.

Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes in 2016 — his closest margin of victory in any state over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The state remains a battleground, and many Democratic presidential hopefuls have campaigned here after Democrats won all statewide offices in the 2018 election. 

Pence told voters in west Michigan Wednesday that he and the president would be back “again and again and again” ahead of 2020.

“Michigan is booming thanks to President Trump and jobs are coming back to the state. Since President Trump’s election, Michigan has added 75,000 new jobs,” said Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for Trump’s 2020 campaign.

“President Trump is delivering on his promises, and he looks forward to celebrating those successes with the great men and women of Michigan this Christmas season."

The trip is scheduled as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked Democratic committee chairmen to draft articles of impeachment against Trump. Republicans have defended the president, who has accused Democrats of conducting a "witch hunt."

In a Thursday statement, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox said Trump has stood up for residents in Michigan during his three years in office.

"While Democrats play partisan political games in Washington, President Trump is fighting for Michigan's workers and farmers who have too long been hurt by failed trade policies," Cox said. "I can't wait to welcome him to Battle Creek."

Trump's "gimmicky" Dec. 18 rally and Pence's Wednesday visit are "a clear sign Donald Trump is terrified of losing Michigan after over three years of breaking promise after promise to our voters," Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes said in a joint statement with Calhoun County Democratic Party Chairwoman Beth Kelly. 

“In Calhoun County, and everywhere across this state, we’re building a grassroots movement that’s going to hold Trump accountable by putting boots on the ground and speaking to voters each and every day about this president’s failures," the Democratic officials said. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

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