One of Donald Trump's first stops as a presidential candidate? Maryland

The Baltimore Sun
Maryland GOP booked Donald Trump as keynote speaker for annual fundraiser.

Real-estate mogul, reality TV star and now presidential candidate Donald Trump, on one of his first stops on the campaign trail, will be in Maryland as the keynote speaker for the state Republican Party's annual fundraiser.

Trump agreed to be the headliner at the GOP's annual Red, White and Blue dinner on June 23, party executive director Joe Cluster.

"He's a celebrity," Cluster said in April.

The June event is typically one of the party's largest fundraising events of the year. 

With a presidential field approaching 20 high-profile Republicans including a CEO, a doctor, three senators and one senator-doctor, and now a reality TV star, the GOP's 2016 class offers voters a little bit of everything.

In a statement after Trump's announcement, the Democratic National Committee tweaked the GOP candidates, saying his entry "adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward hearing more about his ideas for the nation." 

In remarks from Trump Tower in New York, the wealthy real estate developer said, “the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.”

“Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Trump said from Trump Tower in New York, becoming the 12th Republican to enter the race for the GOP nomination. “But if I get elected president, I will bring it back -- bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again.”

Maryland's Republican party is amid a revival of sorts sparked by Gov. Larry Hogan's upset win in November. For the first time in years, the party ended last year without any debt and has enough cash to hire a full-time fundraising chief. 

The Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun reporters John Fritze and Erin Cox contributed to this report.

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June 16, 11:28 a.m. Updated with the news of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

April 22, 8 a.m. This story was originally published.