Trump, Pence possible Fort Wayne visitors next week

Indiana GOP Chairman Steve Shine won’t know for a few days but he’s preparing in case President Trump visits Fort Wayne next week.

The Indiana GOP and law enforcement have notified him that Fort Wayne is one of the possible cities to host the country’s Republican 45th president.

“Several cities are under consideration to host him, and one of them is Fort Wayne,” said Shine, who was evasive about where else Trump might be headed.

Given that Fort Wayne is the state’s second most populous city next to the capital in Indianapolis, it stands to reason that it’s high on the list. Also, with Indiana being Vice President Mike Pence’s home state, he probably would visit with the president, Shine said.

Trump took a 19-percentage-point victory in Indiana over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Shine, who has chaired Allen County’s Republican Party for more than 24 years and was re-elected to another four-year term in March, couldn’t recall hosting a visiting president during that time.

It wouldn’t be Trump’s first visit to Fort Wayne. He spoke in May 2016 at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum while campaigning for the presidency.

While the president’s itinerary would likely be under his staff’s or the Indiana GOP’s control, Shine pointed out a few places he would choose to take Trump, it would be “things that make us unique” including the parks system, the rejuvenated downtown with Parkview Field, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, and yes, Coney Island, but probably not for lunch.

“It’s a long trip back to Washington,” Shine said.

Shine hopes to know more when he sees Pence in Anderson on Friday to promote the Republican Party’s tax reform efforts.