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Betras, Dems launch Facebook effort for Obama visit

Published: Thu, January 30, 2014 @ 12:03 a.m.

By David Skolnick



After President Barack Obama mentioned Youngstown’s advanced manufacturing facility in his State of the Union address for the second year in a row, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras is trying to get the president to make another visit to the area.

Betras started an effort Wednesday, the day after the address, on the party’s Facebook page to get 5,000 likes over the next 10 days on a post urging Obama to come to Youngstown.

As of late Wednesday, the page had about 100 likes.

“We’re confident racking up that much support [5,000 likes] for a presidential visit will get the White House’s attention and result in Air Force One landing at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in the near future,” Betras wrote in an email to fellow Democrats.

During his Tuesday address, Obama, a Democrat, mentioned America Makes, a $70 million advanced manufacturing hub in Youngstown, as an example of how the United States can “beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs.”

Obama also talked about the facility in his Feb. 12, 2013, State of the Union address.

“America Makes is only part of the incredible success story that’s being written by Valley workers and businesses every day,” Betras wrote in Wednesday’s email. “In fact, we believe what’s happening in our community is so amazing that the president should pay us a visit and experience the exciting progress we’re making for himself.”

Besides campaign stops while running for president in 2008 and 2012, Obama came to the Lordstown General Motors complex Sept. 15, 2009, and to Vallourec Star in Youngstown on May 18, 2010, to highlight the successes at both companies.

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