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Trump reemerges in Mass. governor’s race with pre-primary ‘tele-rally’ for GOP hopeful Geoff Diehl

Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, right, talked with campaign adviser Corey Lewandowski during the the 2022 Republican State Convention in Springfield in May.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

On the eve of the Massachusetts primary election, former president Donald J. Trump will appear live in a telephone rally supporting GOP gubernatorial hopeful Geoff Diehl, who he endorsed in October, and who has trumpeted Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

Diehl, who served as the honorary state cochair of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has leaned into the former president’s brand throughout his run. In February, he brought on longtime Trump confidant and former adviser Corey Lewandowski as a strategist.

The news of the telephone rally was first announced Thursday morning by Lewandowski on conservative radio host Jeff Kuhner’s show. Lewandowski said voters will be able to call an area code 508 number and hear Trump give his live assessment of the race, in which Diehl faces Wrentham businessman Chris Doughty.


The rally will take place Sept. 5, one day before the Sept. 6 primary election.

“I am honored to have the support of our former President heading into the primary on Tuesday, and I am doubly honored to have President Trump’s help rallying Massachusetts voters,” Diehl said in a statement Thursday. “This event will give us an excellent opportunity to reaffirm what’s important to us in this race, particularly issues of freedom, fiscal responsibility, public safety, and empowering parents to protect their kids.”

Trump endorsed Diehl, a former Whitman state representative, in October, saying in a statement that he “will be an outstanding Governor for the state of Massachusetts, and it is my honor to give him my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Since the start of his campaign, Diehl has enjoyed the support of Trump-aligned figures in Massachusetts politics.

Massachusetts Republican Party chair Jim Lyons — known for his unflinching support of Trump — has appeared at Diehl fund-raisers and other events. Auto sales magnate Ernie Boch Jr., an early supporter who hosted a Trump rally at his Norwood estate in 2015, hosted a Diehl fund-raiser last month with the arch-conservative governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem. She also was endorsed by Trump in her primary election and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running-mate if Trump seeks election in 2024.


Trump has participated in similar pre-primary “tele-rally” events in recent months for Republican candidates in states such as Alaska, Connecticut, Michigan, and Nevada. During one for former Alaska governor and congressional candidate Sarah Palin, Trump called in hours after the FBI raid on his personal residence at Mar-a-Lago.

“Another day in paradise. This is a strange day. You probably all read about it,” Trump said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The winner of the Massachusetts GOP primary will face presumptive Democratic nominee Maura Healey, the attorney general, in November. She’s led both Doughty and Diehl by wide margins in public polling.

Samantha J. Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross.