New Jersey mayor told he was not welcome at Trump rally after asking campaign to pay for visit

WILDWOOD, N.J. – The Democratic mayor of Wildwood, New Jersey, said he was told by Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., that there was no role for him at President Donald Trump’s rally in his own town on Tuesday evening.

“I’m disappointed, frankly,” said Mayor Pete Byron, who assumed office at the start of the year and said that he still sees the presidential visit as a positive event for his summer resort city. “I think it’s an economic shot in the arm, as well as for the national exposure.”

Byron said he welcomed Trump in Wildwood because a presidential visit transcended politics and that he hoped to meet Trump and shake his hand.

However, Byron explained that Van Drew told him that the Trump campaign was irritated with some comments Byron had made to the media about the need for the campaign to help foot the bill for the cost of the visit.

Byron said his comments were not politically motivated. All other event organizers are required to pay municipal fees to offset the cost of their gatherings to taxpayers, particularly in the summer months when the city is a popular destination at the Jersey Shore, the mayor said.

The mayor said he had considered Van Drew a friend and said he would continue to work with the congressman for the betterment of his city and his constituents.

The president was in Wildwood on Tuesday night for a “Keep America Great” rally at the Wildwoods Convention Center. The rally is in support of Van Drew, a recent convert to the Republican Party, whose Second Congressional District includes much of South Jersey.

*story by USA Today