Campaign in a Box
Donald Trump’s official Texas campaign headquarters is a tiny Austin mailbox
UPDATE: This story has been updated to clarify the location of the UPS Store and the Vaughn Building.
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump does pretty much everything in a huge way. But his campaign headquarters in Texas — where we like to say that everything is bigger — is tiny.
It’s a mailbox at a UPS Store in Austin.
In a recent news release, the Trump campaign lists its Texas operation as being “headquartered” at 815-A Brazos St. PMB 403 in Austin, Texas. That’s the location of a UPS Store housing more than 500 gold-colored metal mailboxes available for rent; the store is on the first floor of a rather nondescript office building in downtown Austin.
Trump’s campaign employs several campaign staffers in Texas, but they obviously don’t work inside mailbox 403. According to the Texas Tribune, the campaign is based in downtown Austin’s 10-story Vaughn Building, 807 Brazos St., which is next to where the UPS Store is located.
No evidence could be found of an office in the Vaughn Building occupied by Trump staffers. And it just so happens that the Texas campaign of Trump rival Ted Cruz, the junior U.S. senator from Texas, occupies an office on the sixth floor of the same building, according to a LinkedIn page for his campaign.
Property records show Austin attorney Harry Whittington, a prominent Republican booster in Texas, owns the Vaughn Building. Whittington made international headlines in 2006 when then Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot the lawyer during a hunting trip.
A representative of the Trump campaign couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Republican and Democratic primary elections in Texas will be held March 1. In the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, Trump, the brash New York billionaire, leads Cruz among likely GOP primary voters in the Lone Star State by 8 percentage points.
“Ted Cruz continues to be one of the most popular elected officials in the eyes of Texas Republicans, so he continues to enjoy a natural advantage in the state,” says James Henson, director of UT’s Texas Politics Project and co-director of the UT/Texas Tribune Poll. “But the combination of celebrity and a successful campaign seems to be working for Donald Trump in Texas in much the same way it seems to be working in the rest of the country.”
Another recent poll — this one by KTVT-CBS 11 in Dallas and political consulting firm Dixie Strategies — puts Cruz about 8 percentage points ahead of Trump in Texas.
During a campaign stop earlier this month in Nevada, Trump praised the Lone Star State while taking a swipe at Cruz.
“I love Texas, and I think now that he [Cruz] has exposed himself as a nasty person who lies a lot, I think he is going to go way, way down in Texas,” Trump said. “So I think we have a shot in Texas.”