Republican presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio and Donald Trump will both make campaign stops in Beaufort today in preparation for Saturday’s primary.
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Rubio’s event was early. The U.S. senator from Florida held a brief town hall at the University of South Carolina Beaufort’s Center for the Arts on Carteret Street at 8 a.m. It was his second held in Beaufort County in under a week. The Republican hopeful stopped in Sun City Hilton Head for an event Thursday morning, along with trips to an Okatie dentist to fix a broken tooth and a stop at a nearby Cracker Barrel for breakfast.
Doors for the event open at 7:15 a.m. and tickets are available at eventbrite.com. On-site registration will be available at the door if space is open.
Trump will hold a campaign rally at Beaufort High School’s auditorium at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.
Trump won the New Hampshire primary last week, while Rubio fell to fifth after finishing third in the Iowa Caucus Feb. 1. Trump also led a poll of S.C. Republicans released last week, with 36 percent of 779 likely GOP voters saying they’d vote for the New York businessman. Rubio finished third in the poll at 15 percent behind Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Trump’s appearance at Beaufort High so far has not affected a boys’ basketball playoff game against Aiken High School, which is still on at 7 p.m. Tuesday night, athletic director Linc Lyles said. Officials are talking over potential special parking arrangements to accommodate both events, he said.
Absentee voting for the South Carolina Republican primary is open through Friday. Polls open at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette staff writer Stephen Fastenau contributed to this report.