Trump coming to suburbs with demonstrations expected in Bolingbrook
Editor's note: Crowds of protesters and supports are gathering across the street from the Bolingbrook Country Club, where Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will appear later today. Click here to get the latest updates from Bolingbrook.
For a few hours Wednesday, Bolingbrook will become the epicenter of the political world when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump lands in the suburbs for a fundraiser expected to draw demonstrations for and against him.
Trump canceled a March 11 rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago after protesters showed up and tensions flared, and he's rarely been back for campaign events.
The event at the Bolingbrook Golf Club sponsored by Mayor Roger Claar is invitation-only. Pro- and anti-Trump forces will be restricted to designated areas, Bolingbrook Chief Tom Ross said, adding police don't anticipate major problems.
Ivanka Trump, daughter of the New York billionaire, will be at a separate fundraiser Wednesday in Chicago.
Trump faces Democrat Hillary Clinton, a Park Ridge native, in the Nov. 8 election. Clinton is scheduled to be in Durham, New Hampshire, on Wednesday.
Among those waving signs critical of Trump will be Patty Droogan, a Naperville resident and member of Suburban Families Against Hate, a local group that formed in response to Trump's visit, she said.
"We want to talk about our diverse community and how disappointed we are in Mayor Claar for bringing such a divisive person to our community," Droogan said.
Many of Trump's remarks about blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and women are offensive, said Droogan, who grew up in Bolingbrook and has biracial children.
"He doesn't seem to be able to put a zipper on some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth," she said, adding the rally will include people of different racial backgrounds, religion and political affiliation. "We're all coming together to show solidarity and support for one another."
Claar told the Daily Herald earlier he understands some residents aren't thrilled with Trump's visit but he considered it a positive event for Bolingbrook.
Among the guests at the fundraiser is Andrew Gasser, a McHenry County Board member and Algonquin Township Republican Party chairman.
"I'm excited for his candidacy," Gasser said, adding he admires Trump for being "brutally honest. He's the anti-candidate. ... He just wants to go in and fix stuff."
Gasser, a retired U.S. Air Force officer from Fox River Grove, has been out canvassing neighborhoods daily and is finding enough backing for Trump that he predicts a victory of "at least 60 percent."
His efforts earned him a coveted seat at a roundtable with Trump. "If you are out there and work for him, you are recognized for your hard work," Gasser said.
Bolingbrook police are assisting the U.S. Secret Service, the lead agency for security at the fundraiser. Bolingbrook police have issued alerts to local schools and residents about possible traffic tie-ups and are advising drivers to take alternate routes while the lunch is occurring.
The pricey gala with tickets ranging from $1,000 to $250,000 includes a VIP roundtable starting at 11:30 a.m. and luncheon at noon.
"The good news is the bulk of the activity takes place after most people go to work and is over by the time they get home," Ross said. "We're a big-sized town with a good police department and the resources to be able to handle it and assist the Secret Service where we're needed."