ROCHESTER-- When the day began Thursday, Rochester city leaders were gearing up for a visit to Rochester International Airport by President Donald Trump. The event would be limited in size because of state guidelines mandating that such events be attended by no more than 250 people. Still, Mayor Kim Norton thought arrangements were all but finalized when the Trump campaign abruptly pulled the plug.
"We were very surprised," the Mayor said during a Zoom call Thursday night. "We were actually in a meeting trying to iron out some of the details of the day. We had sent the contract off. We had been told it would be signed. We had anticipated a signed contract and actually had been working to find ways to accommodate a somewhat larger but still controlled crowd that would meet the state guidelines."
When the Trump Campaign moved its planned rally to Dodge Center, workers at the airport began taking down the various additions brought in for the Presidential visit. It was late Thursday afternoon when Mayor Norton got word, though, that the campaign wanted to move the event back to RST.
"When you make these changes last minute, so much is involved in accommodating a Presidential visit," the mayor said firmly. "They took down the scaffolding and things they had put up. To reput something together, I don't know how much they're going to do."
The mayor has been clear throughout the day that the city of Rochester has been both welcoming and accommodating to the Trump campaign and will remain so.