NJ Mayor Claims Trump Banned Him From Rally After Asking Campaign To Reimburse
Pete Byron, the mayor of Wildwood, New Jersey, was “not invited” to attend President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally for his 2020 re-election bid after asking the Trump campaign to pay for the costs of the president’s visit, according to Business Insider.
Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a former moderate Democrat, requested the rally after flipping parties. Byron, whose city is within Van Drew’s district, was asked not to attend by the congressman.
While the rally wasn’t Byron’s idea, he said a presidential visit should transcend partisan politics.
“This isn’t about whether you’re Republican or Democrat. It isn’t even about the man. It’s about the position,” Byron told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Check your affiliation at the door and let’s just all participate in this monumental [and] exciting time for Wildwood.”
Byron welcomes the national exposure and economic boost that Trump’s pit stop would bring, but the costs of hosting a president are often pricey.
“I have no way of knowing what these costs will be. These rallies can be pretty expensive. There’s a lot of overtime,” he said.
Byron told local media outlets that he asked the Trump campaign to reimburse Wildwood for Trump’s visit -- and the campaign wasn’t happy. Van Drew then told Byron he wouldn’t be welcome at the rally.
“I was not invited,” Byron said Tuesday, hours before the rally. “I’ve been informed that Congressman Van Drew and the President are upset with the fact that I said I think the city should be reimbursed.”