When it was announced that President Donald J. Trump planned to appear in Utica to campaign for incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney, you could almost hear the chorus of groans rising in unison from the region's Democratic camp and other Trump opponents.

Every bit as vocal: Cheers from the near-50,000 Oneida County voters who supported Trump for president in 2016.

President Trump is scheduled to be in the Mohawk Valley on Monday at what's being pegged as a fundraiser for Tenney. Earlier that day, the president is scheduled to visit Fort Drum to sign the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for 2019, which includes funding for a security fence around the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, according to a White House official.

Trump's Utica stop is not for the weak of wallet. It'll be a private affair closed to the press and the general public - unless you have deep pockets. The middle class American who reaped benefits from the Trump tax cuts won't be able to thank him in person because the price of admission is likely a bit out of their range: Tickets range from $1,000 per person for “supporters” to $15,000 per person for “hosts,” according to the invitation.

Details of the Trump visit, including time and place, have not been made public.

Race will be a nailbiter

The president certainly can be considered major firepower for Tenney, R-New Hartford, who is being challenged in the 22nd Congressional District by Democrat Anthony Brindisi, a New York state assemblyman from Utica. The district includes all of Chenango, Cortland, Madison and Oneida counties, as well as parts of Broome, Herkimer, Oswego and Tioga counties. The majority of the district's voters are from Broome and Oneida counties.

Brindisi has scheduled a fundraiser of his own while Trump is in town, but it's not so secret or expensive. It will be at 6 p.m. at Chesterfield Restaurant on Bleecker Street in East Utica, with tickets priced at $10 for a supporter, $50 for a sponsor and $150 for a co-host.

The Tenney-Brindisi race is shaping up to be one of the closest congressional races of the year and is being closely watched all across the nation.

It will be Donald Trump's second visit to the Mohawk Valley. He stopped in Rome while campaigning for president in April 2016 and spoke to a crowd of about 5,000. Trump eventually won the GOP nod - and the presidency by defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton. He carried Oneida County with 48,490 votes (57.8 percent) to Clinton's 30,749 (36.7 percent), according to the New York State Board of Elections. Gary Johnson and Jill Stein made up the difference.

Civility name of the game

It goes without saying that there will be protests during Trump's appearance, and the right to do that lawfully is among the freedoms we enjoy in our democracy. One such protest is being planned by Indivisible Mohawk Valley, Central New York Citizen Action and 1199 SEIU Upstate NY, according to a Facebook event page. It's scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Liberty Bell Park on Genesee Street and Lafayette Street and then the group will line the sidewalk on the east side of Genesee Street going south toward the Delta Hotels by Marriott. Organizers say it will be a peaceful, nonviolent protest.

Any rally - pro or con - must be civil. Some on both sides of the political aisle have resorted to incivility, and that's shameful. They dissed President Barack Obama, too, who ironically was the last president to visit the area when Air Force One touched down in Rome in 2014 and Obama visited The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

A visit to the area by the President of the United States transcends politics. Whether you approve of the person in the White House or not, respect should be shown the office of president and what it represents.

Unfortunately, the spittle over Trump's impending visit began to collect in the social media spittoons moments after it was announced. Many of the comments - from both political camps - are shameful and embarrassing. Like it or not, the American people elected Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States. 

Truman last president in Utica

While many of the men who occupied the White House have visited, few have been here while still in office. The last sitting president to visit Utica was President Harry Truman, who stopped at Union Station during a "whistle-stop" train tour in summer 1948 and spoke to a large crowd. Truman then invited then-Utica Mayor Boyd E. Golder into the private presidential dining car for a short chat, and later that year upset the Republican favorite, New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, retaining the seat he inherited following the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

In fact, as a gesture of good will, it would be nice if a similar meeting could be set up between President Trump and Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri. Despite Palmieri's being a Democrat, a meeting with the Republican president would be a class act on Tenney's part if she could arrange it.

President Truman returned to Utica on Oct. 10, 1952, during another whistle-stop campaign tour - this time for Democratic presildential candidate Adlai Stevenson. He wasn't so lucky this time around. Stevenson lost to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Speaking of Eisenhower, more than 5,000 supporters greeted him at Union Station just 13 days after Truman's second visit - Oct. 23, 1952. The World War II hero won the presidency the following month.

Other sitting presidents who came here:

• Andrew Johnson. He became president in 1865 following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. While enroute to Chicago in 1866, Johnson arrived by train in Utica on Aug. 31 and was escorted to a platform at Bagg's Square where he spoke for 30 minutes. Some of his words are especially haunting today:  "Let us resolve that the country be above party. He who forgets country, to be carried off by party bias, is unfit to mingle in political concerns."

• Ulysses S. Grant. It was Wednesday, Sept. 15, 1875, and Utica had been chosen for the ninth annual reunion of the Society of the Army of the Cumberland. Among the many distinguished guests was President Grant. No one is quite sure why Utica was selected as the meeting place, but it is surmised that it had something to do with Grant's friendship with US Sen. Roscoe Conkling. 

• William Howard Taft. James Schoolcraft Sherman was elected vice president of the United States in 1908 on the ticket with President William Howard Taft. Sherman died while in office on Oct. 30, 1912, and his funeral in Utica was attended by Taft.

Other presidents had ties to the area, not the least of whom was Grover Cleveland, 22nd (1885–1889) and and 24th (1893–1897) US president, who lived briefly as a boy in Clinton, where his father was a Presbyterian minister. He later moved to Fayetteville, and the family settled in Holland Patent. President Cleveland returned to Clinton in 1887 when the village was celebrating its centennial.

Abraham Lincoln was here twice, albeit brief, neither time as a sitting president. On Feb. 18, 1861, his train stopped in Utica on its way to Washington and his inauguration. A large crowd gathered at the train depot on Main Street and cheered when Lincoln appeared on a platform atop a flat car at the rear of the three-car train and spoke for several minutes. The other stop - April 26, 1865 - was less celebratory. The funeral train carrying the remains of the assassinated president back to Illinois stopped in Utica for several minutes.

Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States (1889-1893), had a summer home on Second Lake near Old Forge and spent much time there after his retirement. He and his wife, Mary, enjoyed shopping in downtown Utica, especially at the J.B. Wells dry goods and department store.

Theodore Roosevelt (president 1901-1909) visited Utica often when he was in the New York state Legislature. Roosevelt's sister, Corinne Robinson, lived near Jordanville in Herkimer County. When she and her husband, Douglas, gave Jordanville the Robinson Memorial Library, it was dedicated by then-President Roosevelt on Aug. 8, 1908.

Finally, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt (president 1933 until his death in 1945), came to Utica on Oct. 25, 1928, while campaigning for governor of New York. He attended a rally at Mohawk and Bleecker streets in East Utica that was organized by the city's Democratic Party leader, Charles Donnelley, and Rufus Elefante, head of East Utica's Democratic machine.  More than 10,000 Italian-Americans greeted hime - and he never forgot it.

Other White House connections

In 1814, Utica banker Alexander B. Johnson and Abigail Louisa Adams were married and moved into a mansion on Genesee Street that later became the site of the Savings Bank of Utica's "bank with the gold dome." Abigail was the granddaughter of President John Adams and the niece of President John Quincy Adams.

Future president Ronald Reagan (president 1981-1989) was host of the popular 1950s television series, "General Electric Theater." He once visited the GE plants in Utica and was greeted by large crowds.

John F. Kennedy (president 1961 until his assassination in November 1963) spoke in the Utica Memorial Auditorium during the 1960 presidential campaign. He also attended an outdoor rally in front of the court house in Rome. A plaque at the front entrance today marks his visit.

Gerald Ford (August 1974 to January 1977) spoke to Republican Party groups here when he was speaker of the House of Representatives.

George Herbert Walker Bush (1989-1993) visited Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome in 1983 when he was vice president at the invitation of his friend, then-Congressman Sherwood Boehlert. His son, future President George W. Bush (2001-2009), campaigned here for his father in 1988, stopping at the Oneida County Airport and visiting Oriskany High School, where he was greeted by 600 cheering students.

And, in case you were wondering, George Washington slept here, although we're not quite sure where. The general who led America to independence visited the Mohawk Valley, including Fort Stanwix and the site of the Battle of Oriskany, in 1783, the year the Revolutionary War ended, and later bought land in the region. He later served as our nation's first president from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

So, welcome, President Trump. Through the blur of politics, we sincerely hope that you are able to focus on some of the real issues that affect us, become familiar with our needs and realize that we're not just some No-Man's Land up river of New York City. We are a proud community with a rich history, and you are now a part of it.