The Randolph Fair Board blocked a proposed Trump rally, county commissioner says

Natalie Wolford/The Portager

The Portage County Randolph Fair Board has reportedly rejected a request from the Donald Trump campaign to hold a rally April 24 at the fairgrounds.

“They have a policy that they don’t want politics. They allow political parties to rent a booth at the fair, but they do not allow rallies or political fundraisers,” County Commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett said.

Christian-Bennett said she had communicated with a Trump representative over the weekend, and they were still adamant that they wanted to hold a campaign event at the fairgrounds. 

She said the Trump campaign had also been rejected from Geauga and Canfield, other possible sites for a rally.

Representatives from the Portage County Fair Board could not be reached for comment.

On the Randolph Fair website, a notice says that an April 2 “special fair board meeting” had been canceled. “The topic will be covered in our regularly scheduled board meeting on Wednesday. April 6th @ 8PM,” the notice reads. 

There is no indication what “the topic” is or whether it is related to the proposed Trump rally.

The Trump campaign and the Portage County Republican Party did not respond to requests for comment.

With the fairgrounds off limits, the Trump campaign targeted the Columbiana County fairgrounds but determined the venue would be too small, Christian-Bennett said.

“I found two other sites that would be possibly good sites for it, but it sounds like if they didn’t get the fairgrounds, they might consider some other sites out of Portage,” she said.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.