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Clinton, Kaine to make Johnstown stop Saturday

July 30th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

ayor Frank Janakovic thinks the issues facing Johnstown and other similar municipalities can sometimes seem “distant” to federal government officials.

So, when the Democratic Party presidential ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine visits the Johnstown area on Saturday, he hopes the candidates can get an up-close look at the reality facing communities that were hit hard by the loss of manufacturing bases: unemployment, brain drains, poverty, crumbling infrastructure, crime, drugs.

“I think it's a real positive to have the presidential candidate visit not only Johnstown, but any city like Johnstown, so they can get a firsthand view of what cities need and can get from the federal government,” Janakovic said.

Clinton and Kaine are scheduled to visit Johnstown Wire Technologies, located on Laurel Avenue in the city's West End. Some local officials, including Janakovic, a Democrat, are expected to accompany the candidates.

The event, which is not open to the public, is scheduled to begin around noon.

Their local visit is part of a planned three-day, post-Democratic National Convention bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio – two expected key battleground states in the general election. The route is set to begin with a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Friday. Some of the other stops are set for Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Youngstown and Columbus.

“(The itinerary) says the obvious,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Marcel Groen said.


“It says that Pennsylvania, Ohio – I don't know if they'll go to Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised — those are three pretty important states. For some people, that could be the balance of the election, and it could be.”

Groen hopes the tour will put a spotlight on Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, which, in recent years, has transformed from a somewhat beaten-down Rust Belt city into a community – with a strong eds and meds foundation – that has recently received many recognitions for its livability. “We know that people are hurting,” the chairman said.

“We understand that they have pain. We have an obligation to take the model of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, I think, and spread that out through the west.”

Clinton earned the presidential nomination by holding off Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary/caucus process. She formally accepted the party's nomination at the convention, held inside the Wells Fargo Center, on Thursday.

The former senator and secretary of state selected U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine from Virginia as her running mate.

“He has a lifetime commitment to helping people, to serving people from the days he went to Honduras to work in a Jesuit missionary school, as a city councilman, as a mayor, as a governor, now as a senator, serving alongside (Pennsylvania) Sen. (Bob) Casey,” John Podesta, Clinton's campaign manager, said during a meeting with the commonwealth's convention delegation earlier this week.

“He's fought for working people, and he's fought for a more peaceful, better world.”

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