Mike Pence's Grand Forks visit includes fundraiser, speech at air base
Vice President Mike Pence’s Grand Forks visit Wednesday will not be public, according to information from his office.
The visit was announced two weeks ago, when Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., tweeted about it and later confirmed to the Herald Pence will participate in a fundraiser for his U.S. Senate campaign.
On Monday, Pence’s office added he will be in Grand Forks for a fundraiser and to visit with Air Force base personnel.
Pence will be coming from a public event in Montana Wednesday morning, in which he’ll participate on a panel about President Donald Trump’s tax cuts.
Pence will arrive at Grand Forks Base with Air Force Two at 2:30 p.m., according to a press release from Pence’s office Monday. Gov. Doug Burgum and Cramer will be present to welcome him. First he will attend a fundraiser at the Hilton Garden Inn, and then he will return to the Air Force base to address base personnel.
A press release from Pence’s office said the speech at the base, to take place at 4:35 p.m., will “thank the men and women of Grand Forks Air Force Base for their service and acknowledge the vital role they play in protecting our national security.”
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Shortly after Pence is scheduled to arrive Wednesday afternoon, concerned residents plan to meet at the Grand Forks County Office Building downtown for an “inclusivity march.” According to a Facebook event, participants will walk a block and listen to a few short speeches at 3 p.m.
“The fact that he’s hiding during a visit to a red state says a lot! Pence knows that people are angry with this administration,” said Brittney Christy, a UND graduate student who helped organize the march, on Facebook. “Instead of of standing as an open public figure, he’s putting his head in the sand. This gives us all the more reason to turn out and keep the pressure on.”
The vice president’s office said it’s “standard operation” to release details for an event only a day or two before the arrival, when the visit isn’t open to the public. “If it’s a public event, invitations go out earlier. It’s standard operation to announce open press arrivals and media advisory two days or the day before. That’s very standard for the president as well.”
While Pence prepares to address Air Force personnel in Grand Forks, his wife Karen will be approximately 30 miles away in Larimore, N.D., visiting Dietzler Honey Bee and business owner Conrad Dietzler, who manages over 4,000 hives, to learn more about his bee business.
Last year, the second lady installed a bee house outside the vice president’s residence in Washington, telling CNN, "Bees aren't a political issue.”
The Larimore event is not open to the public.