×

Biden buoys Girard couple

Tom Davis, a former Lordstown General Motors Assembly plant worker, introduced Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a campaign stop in Alliance as the ideal person to rebuild the nation.

His wife, Tiffany, a fifth-grade Lordstown Elementary School teacher, did the same as she introduced Biden at a kickoff event earlier Wednesday in Cleveland.

The speeches delivered by the Davis couple of Girard were very similar, using a number of identical statements such as “Joe will mobilize the talent, grit and innovation of Ohioans to ensure the future is made in all of America by all Americans” and “our story is not unique. Our friends and family are now scattered throughout the country, either working at other Lordstown plants or continuing to look for work.”

Before Biden addressed a crowd in Alliance on Wednesday, Tom Davis said: “I have full faith in his ability to guide our country through these challenging times and uplift communities like Lordstown who for too long have felt forgotten. Ohio is ready to build back better. Ohio is ready for Joe Biden.”

Davis was among the 1,500 people to lose his job at the Lordstown plant when GM opted to close it in March 2019. He worked there for 17 years.

“My family and so many others in our beloved Lordstown were faced with an agonizing decision and an uncertain economic future,” Davis said.

After GM closed in Lordstown, Davis took a job at a GM plant in Bowling Green, Ky., leaving behind his wife and their two children, Brian, 12, and Aubrey, 7.

Davis said he takes an eight-hour trip each weekend to visit his family.

During her speech in Cleveland, Davis’ wife, Tiffany said: “In the Valley, we’re tough, we’re resilient. We keep building, but President (Donald) Trump’s failure to protect American manufacturing jobs in Lordstown has torn us apart.”

Tom Davis also criticized Trump, a Republican, pointing to the president saying at a July 2017 rally in Youngstown after seeing all the closed factories: “Those jobs have left Ohio. They’re all coming back. They’re all coming back.”

He added: “Don’t move. Don’t sell your house.”

Davis said: “Donald Trump vowed to keep plants like Lordstown open and save Ohio manufacturing jobs. Less than two years later, Lordstown closed its doors and my job, along with (others) were lost. We know the truth: Our community was left behind by Donald Trump and his broken promises.”

PRESIDENT’S VIEW

On numerous occasions, Trump has said he pressured Mary Barra, GM’s CEO, to sell the former Lordstown plant to the Lordstown Motors Corp., which it did, and that he helped convince GM to build in the Mahoning Valley, which it is doing.

On Monday, Trump hosted officials from Lordstown Motors Corp., which is building the all-electric Endurance vehicle at the former GM facility, and touted the revival of the Mahoning Valley.

“The area was devastated when General Motors moved out,” he said. “Beyond the plant, it’s incredible what’s happened in the area. It’s booming now. It’s absolutely booming.”

The area continues to have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Lordstown Motors currently employs less than 200 people, with plans for 500 by the end of 2020. It expects to employ at least 1,500 by the end of 2021.

Also, the $2.3 billion GM joint venture with LG Chem to produce electric-vehicle battery cells in Lordstown is under construction and is projected to create more than 1,100 new jobs.

During the June 25 unveiling of the Endurance, Vice President Mike Pence said it was “one more example of a president who is committed to making manufacturing great again,” and that it was a “tribute to a president who was not shy about letting his feelings be known about the future of Lordstown.”

TRAIN TRIP

The Davis family traveled aboard a train with Biden and others Wednesday, a day after the first presidential debate in Cleveland.

At the kickoff event in Cleveland, Davis’ wife Tiffany spoke to the crowd in support of Biden.

Biden responded to her saying: “Tiffany, when I think about your husband taking a job eight hours away in another state, I think about my dad. When he lost his job in Scranton, Pa., I moved in with my grandparents until he found work again. We ended up in Claymont, Del., and then Wilmington, where he managed a car dealership. He worked hard to build a middle-class life.”

Biden added: “This election is about you, Tiffany, and people like you across Ohio and across our country.”

After Alliance, the Biden campaign train headed to Pennsylvania with stops in Pittsburgh, Greensburg and New Alexandria.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
     

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today