Salem awaits visit from Trump, Jr.

SALEM — An upcoming visit Thursday night by Donald Trump, Jr. in support of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s campaign for governor is nothing but positive for the area, Columbiana County GOP Chair David Johnson said.

“This shines a spotlight on our community. I think that’s positive,” he said Tuesday.

The eldest son of President Trump is coming to the home of Bob and Linda Sebo as a special guest for an invitation-only fundraising event for DeWine, featuring a general reception outside with speeches by both DeWine and Trump Jr., a VIP reception inside where guests can have their photo taken with Trump, Jr. and then a private intimate dinner with about 20 guests.

Johnson said the event is pretty much sold out, with 200 expected for the general reception, 40 for the VIP reception and then the 20 for dinner. He said guests should try to arrive at least an hour before the event start time of 5:30 in order to get through security, which will be tight.

According to Johnson, Quaker Lane will be shut down at Highland Avenue, with a security detail and campaign staff there to make sure only invited guests and residents of Quaker Lane have access. Once guests drive through and arrive at the gate, valet parking will be available and there will be another security checkpoint.

“This is going to be an important significant event for the DeWine campaign,” Johnson said.

Those invited include many of the Republican faithful from the area who have worked hard for their candidates, along with some officeholders and many prominent business people. He said it’s being billed as a joint event for Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, an area Johnson said is the president’s strongest base of support in the state.

He made a point of requesting that a Trump attend the event, noting that Trump, Jr. wouldn’t be attending without the blessing of the president and this provides business people from the area a chance to bend the ear of the president’s son. That’s one of the positives. A second positive is the fact that DeWine won’t forget this type of support from the local community. That could be to the area’s advantage if he’s elected the next governor.

The event will highlight the importance of having a Republican governor in place in Ohio for the next presidential campaign, he said.

Johnson felt it was important for some of the party’s rank and file to have a chance to attend. He’s also making sure some other special guests are there. Bill Dotson, a Youngstown artist, started working on a painting of all the presidents and actually had it autographed by Trump. Now that the painting is complete, he’s been invited to display it at the reception.

Jackson Corbisello, a Salem High School student, also received an invite. Johnson was contacted by Corbisello’s father, who talked about his interest in politics and wondered if there was way for him to attend. Johnson put him on the VIP list.

Even if a person of national prominence was being brought to town by the Democrats, Johnson said he would look at it as a positive for the area because it puts some attention on the community.