SANTA FE, N.M. — Northern New Mexico will be getting a visit Tuesday from former President Bill Clinton as he stumps for his wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, ahead of the state's June 7 primary.
But most of the attention is expected to be paid to GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, who will be headlining a rally Tuesday evening amid promises of protests in the heart of Albuquerque.
The former Democratic president is scheduled to hold an evening rally for his wife at an outdoor plaza in Espanola — a city that has been plagued with heroin addiction. The area along the upper Rio Grande, a Democratic stronghold, is a patchwork of heavily Hispanic villages and Native American pueblos.
Six years ago, Bill Clinton campaigned in same city for then-Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in her unsuccessful race against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, now in her second term.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, holds sway over many of the state's Democratic power brokers. She appears to have support from six out of the state's nine super delegates, including the full Democratic Congressional delegation. No super delegates have committed to Sanders.
Meanwhile, Trump will make a stop at the Albuquerque Convention Center, where protesters who have vowed to hold multiple demonstrations around downtown Albuquerque. Some protesters say they will attend his rally, but they declined to say if they planned on disrupting Trump's speech.
Trump rallies in other cities have seen violent clashes between supporters and anti-Trump advocates.
Trump's visit to New Mexico is his first to the state with highest percentage of Hispanic residents in the country and where even some Latino Republicans have denounced him for his previous comments about Mexican immigrants.
Dawn Selwyn and her 68-year-old mother, Olivia, got in line early Tuesday morning so they could get as close to the candidate as possible.
Selwyn, a 50-year-old Lakota-Sioux woman, said she thinks Trump would be good for Native Americans. "He's for the little guy," Selwyn said. "I don't find him offensive at all."
Selwyn said some anti-Trump advocate yelled offensive remarks at her mother when they were getting in line. Both were wearing Trump shirts.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez harshly criticized Trump's remarks on immigrants and has attacked his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The governor is not expected to attend his rally, a Martinez spokesman said.
Rep. Steve Pearce, R-Hobbs, the lone Republican in state's congressional delegation and whose district sits along the U.S.-Mexico border, also won't be attending Trump's campaign rally, a spokeswoman said.
The Republican Party of New Mexico, however, is welcoming Trump's visit and said the party looked forward to him defeating Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, who is leading her opponent Bernie Sanders in the delegate race.
Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas, D-Albuquerque, called on his fellow New Mexico Republicans to further reject Trump because of his past statements.
"It's not like some fringe group invited some clown to town," Maestas said. "This is the leader of the Republican Party ... (who) says things that if the guy at the end of the bar said things you would reject it."
Though Hillary Clinton has not campaigned yet in New Mexico, she is investing in campaign infrastructure designed to carry into the general election, with at least six professional organizers in the state and offices now open in in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Las Vegas in the north of the state.
New Mexico holds primary elections on June 7.
Associated Press writer Russell Contreras contributed to this report from Albuquerque, New Mexico.