UTICA - The price tag is shocking; the security, invisible; the location, a mystery. President Trump is coming to Utica on Monday for a fundraiser for Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.
The 'cheap seats', which earn the recipient admission to the fundraiser, cost $1,000. For $5,000 the attendee also receives a photograph. A roundtable is $15,000 per person. The invitation doesn't list a location, but rather says the location will be revealed upon the recipient confirming attendance.
"What we know is that he is coming to Utica. As far as we know, it's a fundraiser. We're hoping he's going makes some stops. We hope that he's gonna be able to meet with some key people in our community. Like hopefully we'll get him to meet with a farmer, hopefully we'll get him to meet with some businesspeople," said Tenney.
But does the Presidential visit, perhaps flattering at first blush, really translate into concern on the President's part for Tenney's ability to retain the 22nd District seat?
"I think what he's trying to do is put an exclamation point on recognizing that I've had an unprecedented battle to be in the position I'm in. I got to be a member of the House of Representatives never being endorsed by our local Republican committee," says the Congresswoman.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr., also a Republican, didn't support Tenney in 2016.
"Maintaining control of the house... and I understand that. I understand politics better than anyone, having been in it my whole life. I understand that. My differences with the Congresswoman are what they are and aren't going to change as a result of that, but the fact that the President is coming is a good thing," said Picente of Monday's Presidential visit.
Picente has not yet received an invitation to the fundraiser. Nor has the Democratic mayor of the host city.
"So I guess the invitation has not been extended at this point. So, we'll wait and see," says Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri.
Palmieri added he'd be involved - if at all - as a representative of the city, and not a donor.
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