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Who from York County is going to PA Society dinner?

Written by Flint McColgan/York Daily Record-Sunday News | Dec 10, 2015 12:53 PM
scott_wagner1.jpg

Republican state Senator Scott Wagner of York County. (Robert J. Gurecki -- Daily Times)

Of interviewed politicians from York County, only one will attend the annual dinner at all and that's just to give a speech.

(York) -- Several members of the York County delegation to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as well as Gov. Wolf, will not be attending the Pennsylvania Society Holiday Dinner this weekend.

The 117th annual dinner will take place on Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

At the Pennsylvania Society, which begins Thursday night, state lawmakers and other officials rub elbows with some of the biggest lobbyists in the state and attend fundraisers and parties. This year, Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at a Friday luncheon hosted by Pennsylvania's Republican State Committee.

But at least four York County invitees will not be going, and a fifth is just staying to make a speech.

Gov. Tom Wolf, who lives in Mount Wolf, said on Wednesday he would not be attending the black-tie event due to the ongoing budget impasse in Pennsylvania. He was speaking to reporters following the state Holiday Wish gift drive in Harrisburg, where gifts were distributed to 200 needy families.

Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York Township, who is in her first term, said she's not going for the same reason.

"Honestly haven't given much thought or attention to Pennsylvania Society," she said. "Myopically focused on our budget and working for the folks in the 93rd."

Fellow first-termer Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover, also said she will keep her focus on the budget and will stay available for possible legislative sessions.

"I have events and family plans scheduled in the district this weekend," she said. "I will be in the district unless we are in session and then I will be in Harrisburg."

Likewise, Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, said he has never attended the gala and doesn't see himself starting this year. He added it's interesting he never attended because the event's founder, James Barr Ferree, is a relative of his.

Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Red Lion, a longtime member of the legislature who was runner up for House Majority leader at the last vote, said he had made plans to go but canceled them.

"We as legislators shouldn't be in New York City without a budget being done," he said.

York's representative and the sole Democratic member of the county's delegation to Harrisburg, Rep. Kevin Schreiber, said he won't be attending because his wedding anniversary was last Sunday, and he's looking forward to staying at home.

Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, will be attending the event to give a speech to the Pennsylvania Manufacturer's Association during a breakfast there, said Jason High, his chief of staff.

High said Wagner will only do the speech and will not participate in any other part of the event.

Most didn't have an opinion of the guest speaker, Donald Trump, a Republican candidate for president whose comments -- including that he would stop all Muslims from entering the U.S. -- have caused controversy. This week, Keystone Progress called for the GOP to rescind its invitation to Trump.

Klunk and Phillips-Hill both said they're only focused on the budget and not presidential politics. Saylor said "no comment," with a laugh.

But Schreiber was a little stronger.

"It's unfortunate," he said. I generally abhor anything he stands for recently so I think to only give him further credence and to help him on his bully pulpit is no good."


This article comes to us through a partnership between York Daily Record and WITF.

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