Industrial Weldors & Machinists Anticipating Vice President Mike Pence's Visit

Ryan Juntti
Updated: August 07, 2018 10:28 PM

WEST DULUTH - We are now just one day away from Vice President Mike Pence's expected visit to Duluth. On Tuesday it was announced Pence will be adding another event, a stop at Industrial Weldors & Machinists.  

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"I was surprised when they gave us the call. I thought they were joking," said Randy Abernethy, Industrial Weldors & Machinists President when he was told Pence was going to be visiting his business.

"They basically came out and said it just in passing, 'how would you like the Vice President to stop by?' And I jokingly said, 'sure, we could do that.' A couple days later we got a call and said this is going to happen," said Abernethy. "It's very exciting (for) a little shop like ours to have someone like that coming here is very exciting," he said.

The company has 32 employees and is in charge of repair work for mining equipment.

Abernethy says he has contributed to Pete Stauber's campaign in the past, and that Pence is visiting to discuss tariffs and tax cuts to see if they are improving business at his company.

"He's (Pence) here to discuss the tariffs, see how they've helped the industry, if it's helped the mines, if it helps the mines, it helps us," said Abernethy. "We're going to do a little walkthrough, show him some of the parts that we do. After that, he's going to do a speech and maybe a little meet and greet after that," he said.

And they're preparing for the big day doing something we all do at home. 

"You (reporter) can see we're cleaning shop, we haven't had the aisles this clear in a long time," said Abernethy.

Because it's not every day the Vice President comes to town.

The Aerial Lift Bridge will not be raised for a four and a half hour period on Wednesday, but coast guard officials were not able to confirm whether this was due to Pence's visit. 

Duluth Airport Authority Director of Communications & Marketing Natalie Peterson says there are not expected to be any flight impacts.

The Duluth Police Department says no roads are expected to close either.


Ryan Juntti

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