Donald Trump will be sworn in as America’s 45th president on Friday and Delaware County will be far from underrepresented for the celebrations and the protests.
Ohio Wesleyan University will send about 30 students for the inauguration, said Dwayne Todd, vice president of student engagement. The group will depart Thursday night and return Friday.
Todd said the group for President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 was two to three times larger.
But some of the students heading to Washinton D.C. are Trump supporters, he added, while others want to observe “the transition of power.”
“I think it’s important for the university to support political engagement,” he said.
Todd and another student will be staying overnight on Friday to join a second group from OWU for the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday.
The march aims to send a message to all levels of government — including Trump’s incoming administration — that it expects elected leaders to act and protect the rights of women, their families and their communities.
The second group, which consists about 130 people that include students, faculty and alumni, will leave Friday night.
“We are taking charter buses to a hotel outside of D.C. Friday night then riding the Metro in for the march. Returning back to campus late Saturday,” said Lisa Ho, associate chaplain at OWU.
Some county Republicans also will be making an appearance. State Rep. Andrew Brenner, R-67, will be driving with his wife to Washington and attend the Ohio delegation party today.
He hopes to meet Trump, incoming Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos. Brenner is the chairman of the House Education and Career Readiness Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Brenner is among other Ohio elected officials who will be attending the event.
“We’re kind of coming together,” he said.
Brenner said he’ll be lodging further out from Washington because of costs. Prices for one hotel in Washington spiked up to about $1,400 per night, he said, compared with about $200 when he stayed a month ago for a conference.
Other local Republicans include Dr. Elaine Beed, a medical oncologist and a member of the Delaware GOP’s central committee.
Though Trump was not her first choice, Beed said she opposes Obama’s signature health care law and credits it with closing down her office in Westerville after 29 years of service for cancer patients. She said the law is not sustainable.
This will be her first time going to a presidential inauguration. “I’m excited,” she said.
Another first-time inauguration spectator is Jill Rudler, who has run a real-estate company for nearly four decades.
Rudler plans to run for trustee in Genoa Township.
Though she does not necessarily identify as a “Trump supporter,” Rudler said she hopes to see more responsibility and sustainability brought to “homeownership.”
“I feel like its a good time in our country,” she said.
“… Government is a lot more than just one person.”
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.