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Trump campaign to open three Charlotte-area offices Wednesday

Omarosa Manigault, far left, and Lara Trump, right, take selfies at last month’s “North Carolina Republican Women for Trump” forum at Trump National Golf Club with special guests Lara Trump, Lynne Patton, Katrina Pierson and Omarosa Manigault.
Omarosa Manigault, far left, and Lara Trump, right, take selfies at last month’s “North Carolina Republican Women for Trump” forum at Trump National Golf Club with special guests Lara Trump, Lynne Patton, Katrina Pierson and Omarosa Manigault. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Donald Trump’s campaign is teaming up with the Republican National Committee to open its first offices in North Carolina.

Trump has been slow to catch up with Democrat Hillary Clinton’s infrastructure in North Carolina, which includes 33 offices across the state as of this week. On Wednesday, the billionaire’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, will open the first RNC “victory offices” in Charlotte and Huntersville, with additional offices expected to open in the coming days.

The offices will be led by the RNC instead of the Trump campaign and will promote Republican candidates up and down the ballot. A third Trump campaign office opening Wednesday will be in partnership with the Union County Republican Party in Indian Trail.

Clinton’s offices are also coordinating with other Democratic Party organizations, and volunteers there also promote other Democratic candidates.

The Clinton campaign will open its third Charlotte office on Thursday on West Boulevard. That will be the campaign’s sixth office in the Charlotte area.

The disparity in offices has prompted questions about whether the Trump campaign has enough infrastructure at the local level to get its supporters to the polls.

Trump’s North Carolina state director, Jason Simmons, dismissed those concerns in statement issued Monday.

“Office numbers are a false metric and completely miss the point that, as we saw in the primary, Mr. Trump is not a typical politician and attempts to measure the strength of his campaign by old world comparisons like these fail to reflect the enthusiasm and grassroots support seen by the thousands of supporters and new voters he is attracting to his events and his campaign,” Simmons said. “We will have all the offices, staff and resources we need to win in November, and any attempt to measure our strength by outdated metrics such as this one simply overlook the real state of play in the race.”

While the RNC hasn’t had much of a bricks-and-mortar presence in the state until now, its state operation has been in the works since 2013, and it used the 2014 Senate race as a test run. By last month, it had 50 paid staffers and an additional 200 unpaid “team members” who have committed to weekly campaign work.

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