The home state of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is preparing to host a rally tonight, but for another candidate – Donald Trump. The GOP front-runner has never campaigned in the state that sent Sanders to Washington over 25 years ago and it’s already causing concern among local officials.
Trump’s rally tonight at the Flynn Theater in central Burlington holds about 1,400 people, yet the campaign has told local police they have given tickets to 20,000 individuals.
“The dramatic over-ticketing of the rally could mar Mr. Trump's visit. Since learning the facts of the ticketing situation late Tuesday, we have repeatedly expressed concern and encouraged the campaign to take steps to better manage the event,” Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a statement. "There is still time for the campaign to communicate with the thousands of ticket holders to reduce the possibility of inconvenience or a public safety risk for attendees tomorrow night. I urge the Trump Campaign to take responsible steps to ensure the event proceeds smoothly and without incident.”
In a statement, Sen. Sanders tells ABC News "I welcome Mr. Trump to Vermont. I hope his presence here will help him better understand Vermont values -- social and economic justice, tolerance, respect for all people and the environment."
“I love Trump,” said Martin Deslauriers, who drove early this morning from Plattsburgh, New York, to attend his first rally for the real estate mogul. “I think it’s a good message that he’s coming here and he’s not afraid of the liberal attacks of the media and the local people of Burlington that are going to go after him.”
Brooklynn Dewey said it was her birthday present to see Donald Trump this evening. On line with her mother since 10 a.m., she said she’s prepared for the long (and cold) wait. “We brought blankets, chairs and warming packs for your hands…I’m good!”
The high today in Burlington is 35 degrees. ABC’s MaryAlice Parks contributed to this report.