Duluth airport stopped Pence event from happening after contract breach

The Trump-Pence campaign moved the event to Hibbing, where another crowd-size agreement was breached.

Pence Hibbing file
Vice President Mike Pence pumps a fist in the air as the crowd chants, “Four more years,” during a rally at Range Regional Airport in Hibbing on Oct. 26. (2020 file / News Tribune)

The Duluth Airport Authority denied Vice President Mike Pence from holding a rally there in October, a month after President Donald Trump's rally at the airport drew more than 3,000 attendees despite the state's 250-person cap on gatherings at the time.

Instead, Pence held his campaign rally at the Range Regional Airport in Hibbing on Oct. 26.

DAA Executive Director Tom Werner sent an email Oct. 26 to his board of directors saying Pence was planning to host a rally at the Duluth airport the following Monday, but that he would not allow the event to take place, according to public records obtained by the News Tribune.

"The Trump Campaign is in breach of their previous agreement with the DAA on a couple of significant items," Werner wrote. "VPOTUS is welcome to land and park his aircraft as is our obligation. However if there is a campaign event planned, they will have to do so elsewhere."


Mike Pence file Hibbing
The crowd reacts to Vice President Pence Monday, Oct. 26. (2020 file / News Tribune)

Prior to the president's Sept. 30 rally at the Duluth airport, the campaign signed an agreement with the airport promising not to let crowd sizes grow beyond 250 people. When the crowd exceeded that, the airport notified the campaign and requested they cure the situation, according to public data. That did not happen. This news was first reported by the Washington Post .

Six hours after Werner emailed the board saying he would not allow the Trump-Pence campaign to hold another event at the airport, he wrote the board again with news that the event was officially moved to Hibbing.

Ultimately, the campaign would breach another contract with a local airport when Pence's rally at the Range Regional Airport drew about 650, as the News Tribune reported in late October.

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