Rochester seeking reimbursement from Trump campaign
The City of Rochester spent approximately $76,000 on direct costs for President Donald Trump’s visit to town on October 4.
The costs, according to city administration, include staff time, contract resources and equipment. In total, the city estimates that staff spent more than 1,400 hours handling the visit. That includes 470 hours from exempt employees whose time is not included in the $76,000 number.
Council Member Michael Wojcik wrote on his blog Monday that the exempt staffing expenses likely added up to at least $17,625 — putting the actual cost closer to $94,000. The Trump campaign did pay separately to rent the Mayo Civic Center, which served as host for the rally.
Jenna Bowman, the city’s communications manager, said Monday that the city plans to ask the campaign for a reimbursement. The request would be limited to the direct costs accumulated by the city.
It is unlikely that the Trump campaign will pay the city back. Presidential campaigns — and not just Trumps’s — are notorious for leaving cities on the hook following rallies. After the 2016 election, the Center for Public Integrity documented at least three-dozen municipal governments and law enforcement agencies that had not received payments from the campaigns of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Trump.
The president’s visit to Rochester, which came about a month ahead of the midterm elections, drew a crowd of approximately 8,500 people (a portion of whom viewed the rally on a screen in a separate room). Trump was here to support Minnesota Republicans, including Jim Hagedorn, who went on to win southern Minnesota’s 1st Congressional seat by less than a half point.
Cover photo: Trump speaks to a crowd in Rochester / William Forsman