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Ohio Fairgrounds declines next Trump rally

An Ohio Fairgrounds board has denied former President Donald Trump permission to hold a political rally at the site later this month, county officials say.

Portage County commissioners said a board of volunteers responsible for the fairgrounds canceled plans to gather. Commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett told the Ohio newspaper Record-Courier that a board member explained the venue had “a long-standing policy” of not hosting political rallies.

County Commissioner Tony Badalamenti, a big supporter of the rally, said the reasons were initially all-pervasive.

“We went from having the parking lot to being too muddy because it can be, late April, it can be very muddy. It went from there so that you didn’t ask the other [political] party to come and watch it,” he told Fox 8 TV in Cleveland.

“It came down to their bylaws saying they wouldn’t have political events at the fairgrounds,” he added.

Christian-Bennett told the Record-Courier that other fairgrounds are available, but Team Trump is “fixed” on the Portage County spot.

Badalamenti said he spoke to Trump’s team several times about the event scheduled for April 24. He estimated the rally could attract up to 20,000 people and millions of dollars in revenue – and local contractors could repair any damage at a discount.

He told the newspaper that having a former president come to the fairgrounds would be an “honor” and that “to deny the spotlight on Portage County is, I think, appalling.”

The fairgrounds board of directors could not immediately be reached for comment.

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