Portage County Randolph Fair slams door on potential Trump rally

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 9:08 PM EDT
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ATWATER, Ohio (WOIO) - Former President Trump and his team had hoped to hold a rally at the end of April in Northeast Ohio.

They had set their sights on the fairgrounds at the Portage County Randolph Fair, but the fair board has apparently shut them down.

Portage County Commissioners Anthony Badalmenti and Sabrina Christian Benett both said that the fair board decided to deny the Trump team access, due to what was called a long-standing agreement to not allow political groups to use the fairgrounds.

Badalamenti was not happy with the decision, critical that the county was missing out on a great opportunity.

“A president is a president. There’s only been 46 of them, and I think anytime a president of the United States would like to come to anybody’s county, you should be very happy and grateful they want to come,” he said.

Badalamenti said he checked and could find nothing in the bylaws of the fairgrounds that would prohibit a political event from taking place on the premises.

He also said it was a major economic loss for the county.

Badalamenti said Trump officials told him a rally in the county could be a $4 million boost to the local economy.

Christian Bennett said she looked for and found other sites in the county that would be suitable for the rally and offered them to the Trump team but was told that they preferred to use the fairgrounds or were simply going to look elsewhere.

19 News reached out to the Portage County Agricultural Society, the owner of the fairgrounds, and to the President of the Board with questions multiple times, but as of this publication had not received a response to those inquiries.

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