Valdosta, site of Trump’s Saturday rally, has voted Republican in recent presidential races

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Valdosta is in the news this weekend as the site of President Donald Trump’s first public rally since the Nov. 3 election, coming as he and his lawyers are still contesting the election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

The rally is timed to support Georgia’s two Republican U.S. senators, who face runoff races just after New Year’s Day, which also will determine whether Republicans or Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. Sen. David Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, appointed to fill the term of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson, faces Democrat Raphael Warnock.

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Valdosta is the seat of Lowndes County, located on the Georgia-Florida border along I-75 and is closer to Jacksonville and Tallahassee than it is to Atlanta.

And it is friendly territory for Republicans, having given the Republican nominee the majority of its votes each of the last four elections — Trump in 2016 and 2020, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney is 2012, according to AJC research and state election records. It has also been friendly to Trump. A 2016 rally at Valdosta State University drew thousands of supporters and some protesters. Trump led Biden with 55 percent of the county vote to 43 percent for Biden. In 2016, when Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee, Trump won 57 percent.

Lowndes County has a population of about 117,406, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its residents are 58 percent white, 37 percent Black, 6 percent Hispanic or Latino.

ExploreMaps: Compare how Georgia counties voted for president in 2008-2020

2020 vote for president in Lowndes County

Lowndes County 2020 election
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Lowndes County 2020 election

2016

Lowndes County 2016 election.
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Lowndes County 2016 election.

2012

Lowndes County Ga 2012 election.
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Lowndes County Ga 2012 election.

2008

Lowndes County 2008 election
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Lowndes County 2008 election

Valdosta is 73 miles east-northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. It is just over 220 miles south of the Atlanta airport along I-75.

In addition to I-75, Lowndes County is served by U.S. 41 running north and south and U.S. 84, which connects to Savannah on the east and the Alabama state line on the west.

Major employers include Moody Air Force Base northeast of Valdosta, Valdosta State University and South Georgia Medical Center, according to Valdosta’s city website.

A major tourist stop is Wild Adventures, which bills itself as a theme park with “three adventures in one,” including a water park and animal park in addition to its theme park.

Valdosta should not be confused with another V-letter city, Vidalia, which is 120 miles northeast. Vidalia is where the sweet onions grow.

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