LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Democratic Party met virtually in response to Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Lordstown on Thursday.
Pence will be in Ohio and part of his trip will include a stop for the reveal of the Lordstown Motors Endurance all-electric pickup truck.
Even before Air Force Two arrives, the visit is already drawing fire from Ohio Democratic leaders.
“Donald Trump told Ohioans, he told folks in the Valley, ‘Don’t move. Don’t sell your homes. It was all coming back,’ but that’s exactly what so many folks have had to do,” said David Pepper, chair of the Democratic Party in Ohio.
Pepper was once again taking aim at the Trump Administration in advance of Thursday’s big unveiling.
“Mike Pence is showing up for a photo-op in Ohio, at a moment that they’re now trailing in Ohio to claim credit for a project that the administration had little to do with,” Pepper said.
State Senator Michael Rulli, who worked with others to bring the Lordstown Motors project to fruition, said he’s disappointed with Pepper’s comments. Rulli said this is a time to focus on the area’s future.
“And this is ‘Voltage Valley,’ so we have a renaissance going on there at the Lordstown complex,” Rulli said.
During the virtual roundtable, Youngstown Mayor Tito Brown said he’ll press the vice president for more help with Washington beyond the current election cycle.
“Put it in writing. Here’s our commitment to… the Mahoning Valley, but I can’t just do lip service anymore,” Brown said.
The mayor said he will also be asking for more immediate financial help replacing revenues lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we don’t, there’s going to be some tough decisions and then it’s going to be a domino effect with the economy,” Brown said.
Former UAW Local 1112 shop chairman Ben Strickland and Rev. Monica Beasley-Martin also spoke to the media as part of the virtual roundtable.
Pence is expected to speak at the reveal before participating in an event with law enforcement and community leaders.