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Trump Replaces Illinois Campaign Director: Report

The Republican presidential frontrunner replaced his Illinois campaign director in the lead-up to the state's primary

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    Donald Trump

    Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump replaced his Illinois campaign director in the lead-up to the state's highly-contested Tuesday primary, according to a new report.

    Kent Gray, who is also running for a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, was ousted from his post as Trump's Illinois campaign director early last week, sources told Politico.

    Gray was replaced after Trump's national campaign saw little effort being made to improve voter turnout and volunteer organization in the state, Politicosources said.

    Although Gray denies being replaced, his duties have been shifted to Stephanie Milligan and political operative Jim Baker, according to the report. The two are also leading Trump's campaign efforts in the Midwest.

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    Gray faces state Rep. Sara Wojcicki in his bid for Illinois' 99th District House seat. Wojcicki previously served as chief of staff to Illinois' first lady Diana Rauner.

    Trump, who owns Chicago's Trump Tower, has been a divisive figure throughout the presidential election cycle. He has called for the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and for the cessation of Muslim immigration to America.

    He recently cited safety concerns after postponing a rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago Friday.

    "You can’t even have a rally in a major city in this country anymore without violence, or the potential of violence. That’s why we called it off," Trump said. "My decision is: I just don’t want to see people hurt… We can come back and do it another time."

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    Thousands of protesters and supporters clashed inside and outside of the school's pavillion, where the event was to be held.

    Chicago police reported five arrests Friday amid the chaos that erupted following the postponement. Additionally, two CPD officers were wounded.

    On Saturday, Trump blamed supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders for breaking up the event.

    "Get your people in line," Trump said.

    Sanders rebuffed these claims, calling Trump a "pathological liar."

    Trump leads the Republican field, according to a new WSJ/NBC News/Marist poll. The survey of 421 likely Republican voters shows Trump receiving 34 percent of support, with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz receiving 25 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich receiving 21 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio receiving 16 percent. 

    The Illinois primary is set for Tuesday.