Jamie Reeves, a Street farmer and sales representative for Whiteford-based Atlantic Tractor, will be among tractor drivers from all over the country as he drives a John Deere tractor along Pennsylvania Avenue during Friday's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Reeves said Thursday.
The Republican President-elect Donald Trump carried Harford County during last November's election with 58 percent of the vote.
Though Republicans hold a strong registration advantage and nearly every local elected office, not all the party faithful actively supported Trump in the weeks leading up to the election, or at least muted their views on the candidate.
Some of the members of Harford's TwirlTasTix baton-twirling team met Vice President-Elect Mike Pence Monday when they were in Washington, D.C., for a walk-through before their performance in the inaugural concert Thursday.
By Staff report
Jan 17, 2017 | 9:32 AM
Some elected officials and members of the community do plan to attend the inaugural festivities and celebrate Trump's win.
State Sen. Wayne Norman, an early Trump supporter, and James Reilly, clerk of the Circuit Court, plan to attend.
"I'm looking forward to it," Reilly said Wednesday night during the 18th Annual Harford County Reception in Annapolis, the annual gathering of Harford County business and government leaders and state officials.
Harford County Council President Richard Slutzky, a Republican, said through his legislative aide that he will not attend, since he had not been invited.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, also a Republican, will remain in Bel Air Friday. He has budget meetings with his staff and is preparing to travel to New York City next week to meet with bond rating agencies, according to government spokesperson Cindy Mumby.
"We'll be here, watching [the inauguration] in the office," Mumby said.
Reeves will drive a John Deere 6215R row crop tractor, one of three pieces of Atlantic Tractor farming equipment on hand for the event, in the inaugural parade Friday afternoon.
"Atlantic Tractor is proud to participate and sponsor that part of the celebration," Reeves said.
He said Atlantic Tractor had been invited to take part in the parade by representatives of RFD-TV, a 24-hour television network dedicated to news and entertainment related to agriculture and the rural lifestyle. The network, which is owned by Rural Media Group Inc., is organizing the Rural Tractor Brigade as part of the inaugural parade, according to its website.
Two Harford County voters discuss why they support Donald Trump for president. (David Anderson, Baltimore Sun Media Group)
Reeves noted this year is the first time tractors have been included in the inaugural parade, a reflection of the "huge grassroots" support Trump had from rural America.
He said his 210-horsepower tractor has "the latest technology that John Deere has to offer to support current and future farming activities, to make the farmer's job as easy as possible."
The vehicles were scheduled to be hauled to a staging area at the Pentagon, Thursday afternoon. The U.S. Secret Service would keep the staging area secure until the parade begins at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Reeves said.
Reeves is a third-generation farmer who raises beef cattle and grows crops on a 260-farm he runs with his brother-in-law, Bryan Kilby. Kilby is also a partner in the Bel Air-based Jones Junction Auto Group.
Women's March group
There also will be other people from Cecil and Harford counties in the nation's capital the day after the inauguration who will not celebrate Trump's win, but repudiate Trump's policies and rhetoric that they consider harmful to women and minorities.
Three buses, carrying 168 people associated with Together We Will – Harford County Upper Chesapeake, will travel to Washington for Saturday's Women's March on Washington on the National Mall.
"It's an opportunity for women to come together to make sure that our political power is heard in Washington and that our concerns need to be heard," Delane Lewis, a Baldwin resident who founded the local Together We Will affiliate one week after the election, said Thursday.
Lewis stressed that men are not excluded from the march, and "a lot of male allies" are part of the Harford County group. She said she knows of two or three other busloads of people from Cecil and Harford who are traveling down, plus "countless others" who are driving down on their own.
"This is a positive movement," Lewis said. "We are there to bring about positive change – this is not a protest, this is about coming together under an umbrella of our shared beliefs and again, to claim our power."
The Harford affiliate of Together We Will is an "issue-based" organization that focuses on issues such as social justice, protecting the environment and ensuring access to affordable health care, according to Lewis.