Donald Trump returns to Stark County for a second Brookside Country Club fundraiser - this time as president. Here is a look back at recent presidential visits to Stark County.
Donald Trump will be the first U.S. president to make a public appearance in Stark County on Wednesday since President George W. Bush headlined two campaign rallies in Canton in 2004.
It has been more than 2 1/2 years since Trump made an appearance as the Republican presidential nominee at the Brookside Country Club for a campaign fundraiser. He'll do so again this week — but this time as president.
President Trump is scheduled to visit the Lima Tank Plant before landing at Akron-Canton Airport and attending a 5 p.m. campaign fundraiser at Brookside Country Club in Jackson Township. In 2016, Trump spoke at a campaign fundraiser at Brookside in August, shortly after receiving the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He then addressed thousands of supporters a little more than a month later in September at Canton Memorial Civic Center and toured the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It's been nearly 15 years since a president stopped in Stark County while in office. That was when George W. Bush held a campaign appearance at the Palace Theatre in downtown Canton.
That was his third visit to the county as president. He made a pitch for his tax cut plan in April 2003 in Jackson Township before 850 Timken employees at the Timken Research Facility. And Bush spoke at a campaign rally for his successful re-election at the Canton Memorial Civic Center late July 2004.
Bush's successor Barack Obama is only known to have visited Stark County once, before he was elected president, when he gave his "closing argument" speech at the Civic Center late in October 2008. As president, the closest Obama came to the county line was in August and October 2012 when he went through Akron-Canton Airport as part of his re-election campaign.
In the August visit, then-Canton Mayor William J. Healy II and Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry greeted Obama at the airport in that August visit.
Stark County has had a reputation as a swing county in a swing state known for sending its former congressman, William McKinley to the White House. The county or its adjoining Akron-Canton Airport in Summit County has attracted presidents, officials who later became president and presidential candidates for decades.
President Richard Nixon attended Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities in 1971 and gave a speech at the Civic Center at what would become the Gold Jacket dinner. Gerald Ford, then vice president, spoke at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony in 1974 in Canton about two weeks before Nixon resigned and Ford was sworn in as president.
Campaigning for re-election, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Timken Faircrest plant in Perry Township in September 1984. It was his only visit to Stark County as president. Four years later in October 1988, George H. W. Bush, the father of George W. Bush and then vice president running for president, spoke at a rally at a hangar at Akron-Canton Airport. The elder Bush campaigned again at the airport the day before the November 1992 election that ended his presidency.
Former president Bill Clinton's last three campaign visits to Stark County weren't for himself, but to campaign for others. He spoke at a rally the former Timken High School in February 2008 during the Ohio presidential primary between his wife, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. Bill Clinton then campaigned for the unsuccessful re-election of then-Congressman John Boccieri in 2010 by Tozzi's restaurant in Canton Township.
In October 2016, Bill Clinton campaigning for his wife, then the Democratic presidential nominee, made an appearance at Ironworkers Local 550 training center in downtown Canton.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @rwangREP.