Trump supporter to keynote Mahoning County Republican Party dinner

It’s expected to be the most-attended county Lincoln Day event in at least three decades

By David Skolnick


David A. Clarke Jr., former Milwaukee County sheriff and a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump’s, will be the keynote speaker at the Mahoning County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner Tuesday.

About 450 people have reserved tickets for the event, which would be the most-attended Lincoln Day dinner in at least three decades in the county, said Mahoning GOP Chairman Thomas McCabe.

“It should be a great success, a great evening,” he said. “We never get that many people in Mahoning County. The excitement we have for Donald Trump in this area and [Clarke] being so vocal for him, people are excited because he’s a defender and supporter of the president.”

The event is at the Maronite Center, 1555 S. Meridian Road. Clarke’s speaking fee is $15,000, which is being split between the county party and organizers of an event earlier in the day in Cleveland, McCabe said.

The party already has exceeded the $7,500 cost in sponsorships alone, he said, with 12 or 13 $1,000 sponsors and five sponsors of $2,500 or more.

After expenses, the party is expected to make about $25,000 to $30,000 on the event, McCabe said.

Clarke served as sheriff of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin from 2002 to 2017. While a registered Democrat, Clarke is a self-proclaimed conservative who supports Trump. He spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

He used to be a guest on Fox News until about a year ago and left the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action as a senior adviser and spokesman in February.

He became involved with the super PAC shortly after he left his sheriff’s job in August 2017. He is now affiliated with We Build the Wall, a pro-Trump organization that seeks to raise money to build a wall on private land with private money along the country’s southern border. About 200 people attended an event by We Built the Wall in Cincinnati last month that Clarke attended.

There will be a VIP reception at 5:15 p.m., a general reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the general reception and dinner are $60 a person or $100 a couple with the cost for the VIP reception and dinner at $150 a person and $250 a couple. Call the party’s headquarters at 330-629-7006 for tickets.