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Pricey, but exciting: Southern Illinois couple are inaugural-bound

By John Croessman
Posted on 1/3/2017, 6:47 PM

Attending president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington D.C. takes some financial fortitude, but Linda and Jerry Goforth – long time members of the GOP’s inner circle – say it’s a chance to be part of history.

The Carbondale couple, who winter in Gulfport, Miss., are two of very few from downstate Illinois to receive invitations.

Linda is a longtime precinct committeewoman and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention that nominated former president George W. Bush. The couple owned the Barton House Bed & Breakfast. They are very close friends with Congressman Mike Bost and his wife, Tracy, and 115th District state Rep. Terri Bryant and family.

“It’s been a long eight years waiting for this moment,” she said in a telephone conversation Tuesday morning.

The Goforths will spend nearly $5,000 on tickets – to the Trump inaugural, various inaugural balls and receptions; another $1,500 on round trip airfare from Gulfport to Charlotte, N.C. and then Washington for them and their granddaughter, Kimberly Grammer. They leave Gulfport at 6 a.m. and get into Washington at noon on Thursday, Jan. 19.

Their first night at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Alexandria, Va., will cost $700. The rate drops to $500 Friday night, then to $200 Saturday night before they head home on Sunday.

They will take taxis or shuttles to and from Washington D.C. during their stay.

The Goforths will meet Congressman Mike Bost and wife during a reception Thursday afternoon, attend a National Republican Women’s reception and will attend the Illinois Republican grand inaugural ball.

There are a total of 12 inaugural balls planned.

There will be a final private reception on Sunday at the Regency Hotel before flying back to Gulfport, Miss.

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