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WELLINGTON (WJW)- Former President Donald Trump will hold his first post-presidency campaign rally at the Lorain County Fairgrounds Saturday.

Trump will wield his political power to oppose an incumbent Republican congressman who voted to impeach him.

The former president will campaign on behalf of his White House advisor, Max Miller, who is challenging Rep. Anthony Gonzalez in the 2022 16th Congressional District GOP primary.

Gonzalez was one of the few House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

This will mark Trump’s first rally since that day, as the former president continues to falsely claim he won the election.

Several Northeast Ohio natives are facing federal charges for their roles in the Capitol riot, including 20-year-old Clifford Mackrell, of Wellington.

Wellington is not part of the Congressional district at the center of the campaign rally, but it is friendly territory for Trump, who won rural portions of Lorain County in the November election.

“This is an opportunity for the village to shine and step forward, and that’s what we want to do,” Wellington Mayor Hans Schneider said.

Schneider said village’s full police force will be on duty, paid overtime, and joined by dozens of officers from other communities.

“We’re hoping for the best, but we’ve planned for the worst. So we want to be ready in case something starts. We don’t expect it to, but we expect we’ll be ready if it does,” Schneider said.

Republicans who are vying for Trump’s endorsement as they run to fill Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s seat said they plan to attend the rally.

But Portman and Governor Mike DeWine will not be there, citing previous commitments.

The Gonzalez campaign called Miller unfit for office, saying in a statement, in part, “While Max was being an errand boy, fetching the President Diet Cokes and laboring over which music to play at campaign rallies, Anthony Gonzalez has been serving his constituents and focusing on issues that matter to the people of Northeast Ohio.”

In Cleveland Friday, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown said he remains focused on the Biden administration’s agenda, despite the former president’s visit.

“He will come to Ohio and try to divide people tomorrow,” Brown said.


Doors for the rally open at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the rally set to begin at 7 p.m.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, parking is prohibited on Magyar Street, which is used as an emergency evacuation route for events at the fairgrounds and for emergency vehicles in case of any emergencies.

The reservoir for the Village of Wellington, the parking lot and the lands around the reservoir are closed to all pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Car and foot traffic are also prohibited on the fairgrounds perimeter road from Magyar Street. Residents who wish to walk to the event will have to use Fairgrounds Road.

ODOT signage will guide people to the event on all State Routes around the village. The only entrance into the event for vehicles is on Pitts Road.