Visit seen as rare chance to hear leader speak

President Donald J. Trump’s appearance at the Williamsport Regional Airport tonight is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, according to those planning to attend.

“I’m bringing my five grand-children,” said a retired teacher from Jersey Shore, whose relative is a border patrol agent. “I’d love it if the president touches on border security.”

Trump is coming here for a political rally supportive of Republican Fred Keller’s U.S. House bid.

Keller is running for a seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Tom Marino’s retirement.

Democrat Marc Friedenberg, of State College, is challenging Keller for the House seat in the special election.

“I want to thank him for his support for those in military service,” said Chad McElwee, of Muncy, who recently graduated from Muncy High School and is serving in the Army National Guard.

Mostly Democrats who are plugging a Green New Deal is on the mind of Darrel McKee, also of Muncy.

“I think if he keeps harping on the Green New Deal, which nobody wants to see happen, Republicans will do better in 2020,” McKee said.

The deal, which has support of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calls for a reduction in non-energy efficient buildings and limiting greenhouse gases by addressing what many consider to be unconventional such as dairy cows and alternative fuels.

“The Democrats mucking up the government function,” is what Tom Scarborough, of Williamsport, said he wanted Trump to discuss.

Flooding and flood insurance are what Gail Grove said she will be concerned about and hoped Trump would talk about, specifically how the government reacts to disasters.

Based on former Trump visits all over the country, music and visual pageantry of red, white and blue streamers are expected along with the line up of motorcyclists who are planning to escort the president’s limosuine as it moves toward the Energy Aviation Center.

“Get here early,” warned Montoursville Mayor Steve Bagwell. The gate opens for the public at 4 p.m., but Bagwell said he expects people to line up long before then.

“You don’t expect to be the first in line at Disneyland if you arrive late,” Bagwell said. “I mean, a presidential visit, how often does that happen?”

Three Williamsport candidates seeking their party nominations for mayor added viewpoints on the President’s visit.

“Whenever a president visits any community, it is a special occurrence worthy of note,” said Republican Don Noviello, Williamsport City Councilman. “We are fortunate to have a place large enough to a accommodate the crowd that will show. It is definitely an opportunity to bring attention to our area.”

“The arrival of President Trump today, shows how important Lycoming County is to his reelection campaign and his commitment to Fred Keller and the 12th congressional District,” Republican Eric Beiter said.

“This trip to the Williamsport Regional Airport also underscores the importance of our community as a pillar of strength in Lycoming County and a hub of opportunity in the district. The progress he has made as president has helped communities like ours across the nation improve the quality of life and remain relevant in a 21st Century.”

“Any time there is a presidential visit, it puts the spotlight on that area,” said Democrat Derek Slaughter, Williamsport City Councilman. “This entire region needs expanded federal funds for levee recertification and stormwater abatement. At the appropriate time, I hope my Republican colleagues discuss our regional needs with the president and his administration.”

Slaughter said that although he is a Democrat, his commitment is not to political labels, but to Williamsport and Lycoming County.

“I hope Lycoming County citizens are mindful and respectful of differing views. Let’s take care of each other on Monday to ensure the event runs smoothly,” he said.