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Jill Biden to stump in Michigan this week ahead of President Biden's return

Jakkar Aimery
The Detroit News

First lady Jill Biden is slated to stump across Michigan this week in a push for her husband's reelection, days ahead of President Joe Biden's third campaign trek to the state this year on Sunday.

Her arrival will kickoff a Women for Biden-Harris event in Marquette on Thursday, before heading to Midland and Detroit in the latest effort to "protect affordable health care from Donald Trump," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in the 2024 election year, the Biden-Harris campaign said Tuesday. The first lady will be joined by second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.

First lady Jill Biden waves to the crowd as she takes the stage during on April 26 the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s annual First Ladies Luncheon at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. Biden is coming back to Michigan on Thursday for a campaign event in Marquette, followed by events in Midland on Friday and Detroit on Saturday.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, the first lady and Emhoff will arrive at Marquette Sawyer Regional Airport in Gwinn in the Upper Peninsula. They will deliver remarks at a political event in Marquette at 3 p.m., according to the White House.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, they are scheduled to arrive at Chippewa County International Airport in Kincheloe and deliver remarks at a community event with the Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

At noon Friday, Jill Biden and the second gentleman will join a community listening session about health care with members of the Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the White House said. At 1 p.m., they are slated to highlight historic investments through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda and will tour the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, then head to Midland for a political event at 5:15 p.m.

The White House said the first lady and second gentleman will touch down at Detroit Metro Airport at 7 p.m. Friday and will deliver remarks at a political event at 11:30 a.m. Saturday before heading to New York to wrap up the tour.

Event locations were not released.

The first lady's visit to the state will mark her second time in the Great Lakes State in less than a month, following a stop in Grand Rapids for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s annual First Ladies Luncheon on April 26.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, alongside community leaders, launched Michigan’s Women for Biden-Harris group in Detroit on March 1, the Biden-Harris campaign said. Harris visited Detroit on May 6 to promote the Biden administration's assisting of small businesses, and Grand Rapids in February as a part of a "nationwide reproductive freedoms tour, highlighting extreme abortion bans and underscoring the danger in seemingly 'safe' states like Michigan," the campaign said.

The Women for Biden-Harris tour in Michigan will come days before the president returns to the state on Sunday to deliver the keynote address for the NAACP Detroit Branch's 69th annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner at Huntington Place in Detroit.

It will be Democratic president's third campaign trip to Michigan this year and his first since March 14 when he made stops in Saginaw, a Democratic stronghold within a bellwether Michigan county, greeting volunteers at a private home in the city's Cathedral District neighborhood before dining with a family at a golf course in Saginaw Township.

The president was also in Michigan on Feb. 1 when he addressed a crowd of about 200 people at a United Auto Workers hall in Warren and courted Black voters at a sports bar in Harper Woods.

President Joe Biden is greeted by Hurley Coleman III and Hurley Coleman IV while arriving for a March 14 campaign event with supporters at Pleasant View Golf Course in Saginaw Township.

The Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner this year will mark 69 years that the massive social gathering — among the region's largest sit-down dinners, hosting nearly 10,000 guests — has ushered in voices of some of the most renowned civil rights, faith and elected officials from Michigan and across the nation.

Biden spoke at the dinner in 2015, praising Detroit's comeback following its 2013-2014 municipal bankruptcy, saying it was on the road to economic recovery.

Biden's speech to the NAACP in Detroit is part of his campaign's efforts to engage Black voters in swing state Michigan, where turning out Black voters in Detroit and the first-ring suburbs is expected to be key to his running up the score against Trump.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a May 1 campaign rally at MBS International Airport in Freeland, near Saginaw.

Trump last month made a stop in his third state campaign visit to Freeland, about 14 miles northwest of Saginaw, where he thanked U.S. Supreme Court justices for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that allowed for a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy. He has said he'll leave policy decisions on abortion access to the states.

The battleground state of Michigan enshrined abortion rights in its constitution in 2022. It is expected to be key focus for Trump and Biden, who won the state in 2020 by nearly 3 percentage points, 51%-48%, or 154,000 votes. Trump won Michigan in 2016 by two-tenths of a point or 10,703 votes.

jaimery@detroitnews.com

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Staff Writer Craig Mauger contributed.