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 U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, steps off Air Force Two at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township June 18. Pence had lunch at the Engine House in Mount Clemens prior to touring Chardam Gear Co. in Sterling Heights. U.S. Senate candidate John James is seen on the left.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, steps off Air Force Two at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township June 18. Pence had lunch at the Engine House in Mount Clemens prior to touring Chardam Gear Co. in Sterling Heights. U.S. Senate candidate John James is seen on the left.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


Vice president lands at Selfridge, has lunch in Mount Clemens

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published June 18, 2020

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MACOMB COUNTY — Prior to heading to Sterling Heights, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spent some time June 18 on the eastside of Macomb County.

After arriving on Air Force Two at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, the 61-year-old former Indiana governor traveled to have lunch at the Engine House on Cass Avenue in Mount Clemens.

Pence was greeted at Selfridge by 127th Wing Commander Rolf Mammen and Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard Gordon.

Shortly after speaking with the vice president, Mammen told C & G Newspapers that everyone at the base understands how strategically important the base is and its role in securing a high-profile visit.

Pence’s Selfridge arrival was the second time this year the base welcomed a top public official. President Donald Trump landed at Selfridge in January.

“With both of them coming in within five months, it solidifies that Selfridge is a cornerstone of Michigan communities,” Mammen said. “We’re getting to the point where we’ve done it so many times over the years and we have a playbook that we run. Certain things change every now and then on what the Secret Service wants us to do, but beyond that, I know that we’re ready.”   

Engine House is owned by Detroit firefighter Capt. Greg Sisoy and retired Detroit firefighter John Gusmano.

A couple days before the visit, Gusmano said the restaurant reached out to the White House to see if the vice president would like to stop by. They learned of the stop the morning of June 15.

Gusmano said his staff was excited to welcome Pence, adding that in all of his years in the restaurant business, this was the first time that an elected official of Pence’s level has visited the bar and grill.

On June 18, Engine House, which is operating at 50% due to COVID-19 restrictions, was open for reservation only.

Gusmano and Sisoy, whom Gusmano said are Trump supporters, have owned the Engine House for 14 years. Gusmano was a Detroit firefighter from 1970-2001.

After spending some time at the restaurant, Pence and the motorcade made its way to Chardam Gear Co. in Sterling Heights. He then delivered remarks at Casadei Structural Steel as part of an America First Policies national economic policy event.

Pence last visited Michigan in February, when he came to Troy for a rally at the Detroit Marriott.

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