First Post-Presidency Trump Rally Will be Held in Lorain County


Sue Ogrocki | AP

Donald Trump at a rally last year in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This coming Saturday, Former President Donald Trump will hold his first rally post-presidency in the parking lot of the Lorain County Fairgrounds, a 15 minute drive from Oberlin. The rally is a part of his “Save America” campaign and doors will open at 2 p.m., and the rally will start at 7 p.m.

Executive Chairman of the Lorain County Republican Party David Arredondo explained that the event was planned by several groups, namely the Trump Campaign and the Ohio Republican Party, as well as three Republican candidates: House Candidate Max Miller, and Senate Candidates Bernie Moreno and Jane Timken.

Arredondo says that Lorain County is a good location for Trump’s first post-presidency rally because of how tight the margin was in the 2020 election. 

“In 2016, Trump won Lorain County on election night but when the provisional ballots rolled in, Clinton won by 131 votes,” Arredondo said.  “My impression is that a lot of folks at the state and the national level noticed that Lorain County went big for Trump in 2020. Not only that, but the turnout for Trump enabled our local candidates to win — the two county commissioner candidates, county recorder, county coroner, [Jim] Jordan, [Bob] Gibbs, [Gayle] Manning, [Dick] Stein. We pretty much swept the contest, and we now run the county.”

In Arredondo’s eyes, the biggest potential for Trump was to be able to support candidates for lower-level races in the House and the Senate to help flip them in 2022. According to Arredondo, Trump’s “Save America” rally is crucial in helping support these candidates. 

“With that kind of showing [in the 2020 election], I know it was noticed from the national level on down,” Arredondo said. “I think this is setting the stage for what Trump will be doing over the next 16 or so months — and that is backing candidates for Congress and the Senate in order to take back the House and the Senate in 2022.”

In the period since President Joe Biden’s inauguration, Trump has continued to promote false claims of election fraud. Arredondo believes that Trump will continue to promote this narrative at rallies. He sees Trump’s appeal to election fraud as a way to energize and inspire his base to come to the polls and vote for Republican candidates.

“I think he will continue to bring it up,” Arredondo said. “I’m not sure how much, or to what degree, but I think it will be left there on the table because people believe him. It might be as much as 50 percent of [Republicans] who say he is president …  I don’t think that it will be dropped any time soon. If it works to keep people involved, then you just keep using it.”

Still, Arredondo says that this narrative is part of what has kept his supporters engaged unlike more conventional politicians who might struggle to motivate their base.  

“The table that Trump set over the last four years for people to get involved, to get active, to step up,” Arredondo said, “I attribute that to his inspiration. You know there are folks here — they’ll jump off a cliff if he tells them to, that’s how dedicated they are.”

For Chair of the Oberlin Student Progressive Project Sahgar Gupta, the Trump rally provides a disheartening reminder of the ideological divide between Oberlin students and the general population in Northwest Ohio. 

 “There’s an unspoken divide between students and residents in Northeast Ohio,” Gupta said. “I think the politics of the residents and the students adds to that.”