Bernie Sanders to stop Sunday in Lordstown

Teachers group will discuss GM plant idling

LORDSTOWN — It appears another presidential candidate plans to make a stop in Trumbull County.

According to a press release from the American Federation of Teachers, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will meet with AFT President Randi Weingarten and members of the Lordstown Teachers Association Sunday afternoon.

The release states Sanders will “discuss how General Motors’ Lordstown plant closure is hurting the community and how to fight back.”

The 1 p.m. meeting at Lordstown High School, 1824 Salt Springs Road, is only for AFT members, according to Andrew Cook of the AFT.

According to the Associated Press, Sanders has scheduled official weekend rallies in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but along the way will make stops in Ohio and Indiana.

The Sanders campaign said the tour — which begins Friday in Wisconsin with rallies Saturday in Michigan and Sunday in Pittsburgh — will emphasize the Democrats’ “clearest and strongest path to victory in 2020 runs through the Upper Midwest.”

The stops in Ohio and Indiana are not listed on Sanders’ political Facebook page.

The “Union Town Hall” in Lordstown, as described in the release, is part of the AFT’s 2020 presidential endorsement process. The AFT represents teachers in the Lordstown district, “many of whom have family who worked at the plant or local suppliers” of GM, the release reads.

The Lordstown assembly plant was idled last month as the last Chevrolet Cruz was produced. GM in November 2018 announced the Lordstown facility and four others in North America would be placed on “unallocated” statuts, a restructuring effort to boost profit margins, prepare for a downturn and invest more in electric and autonomous vehicles.

“GM’s decision to shift Lordstown and other Northeast plants to ‘unallocated’ status has drawn the ire of families and communities that loyally built and bought the company’s cars for decades,” the AFT release reads. “On Sunday, union members, including educators whose families and students are affected by the plant closure, will discuss with Sanders and Weingarten how to defend and grow middle-class jobs for those left behind by the Trump administration’s failed economic agenda.”

Dan Polivka, chairman of the Trumbull County Democratic Party, said Wednesday he was not aware of any visits by the Sanders campaign.

Sanders, an independent, caucuses with the Democratic Party, reads his bio information on ballotpedia.org. He formally declared his candidacy for president Feb. 19.

Cleveland.com reported Sanders will meet with both UAW Local 1112 members and the Lordstown Teachers Association. However, Dave Green, president of Local 1112, said Wednesday he knew nothing of the meeting.

Sanders plans to hold a rally Friday night in Madison, Wis., followed by a rally at a community college in Warren, Mich., on Saturday. His event Sunday in Pittsburgh is near both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon campuses.

Sanders won Wisconsin in a blowout in the 2016 Democratic primary and narrowly defeated eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in Michigan. Sanders lost to Clinton in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke visited with Green on March 18 at Local 1112 Union hall, Reuther Drive SW.

There are 19 Democrats and two Republicans who have either entered the presidential race or formed a presidential exploratory committee, according to ballotpedia.org.

Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Howland, announced his candidacy April 4 on the morning talk show “The View” and followed that with hist first campaign rally Saturday in Youngstown.

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