Donald Trump is ramping up his operations in Missouri.  The campaign has opened a state headquarters in Jefferson City and hired two key operatives.

Donald Trump (photo; Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump (photo; Gage Skidmore)

Newly named State Director Aaron Willard and Communications Director Todd Abrajano are veteran Missouri Republican strategists.

Willard says the expansion’s needed to improve communications with what he claims is a large number of volunteers across the state.

He notes the Missouri operation’s scheduled a major event for Saturday.  “There is going to be what we’re referring to as “a day of action’, where we are working with the Missouri Republican Party to bring out as many of our volunteers as possible, get that ground game started, get all of our volunteers organized”.

Willard says the candidate’s drawing support from a broader group of people than the Republican base.  “There’s also a lot of energy from people that maybe are not always incredibly engaged in the political process” said Willard.  “They are really excited and engaged for Donald Trump this time.”

Willard contends part of his job will working to get Trump or Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence to stage a rally in Missouri.  “If you look at other rallies around the country, they’ve had, very consistently, three to five thousand people at each one of these rallies. I feel very strongly that if we can get Mr. Trump or Mr. Pence to the state of Missouri, that we would also have a very strong turnout of the thousands of people coming to those events.”

Trump is already scheduled to be in the state for an October 9th debate against Hillary Clinton at St. Louis’s Washington University.  Willard said he could guarantee the real estate mogul would appear at the event, although Trump himself hasn’t committed to the debate schedule and has complained that two of them, including the one in St. Louis, are up against NFL football games on TV.

Up until now, Trump’s operations around the country have largely resembled the stripped-down outfit he employed to secure the nomination.  Despite a big increase in contributions from small donors last month, he’s relied on the Republican Party to provide key functions such as voter outreach.  The campaign’s identified Missouri as a key battleground state.

Willard has most recently been working for the reelection campaign of 8th District Republican Congressman Jason Smith.