News

GOP National Convention: Who's representing York County

Written by Ed Mahon/York Daily Record | Jul 18, 2016 8:48 AM
york_RNC_delegation.jpg

Joe Sacco, left, a delegate to the Republican National Convention, talks with Charles Burnside, owner and president of Maple Donuts, at the business' East Market Street location in Springettsbury Township. Sacco stopped there Thursday, July 14, to thank Burnside for his support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Photo: Ed Mahon, York Daily Record)

(York) -- Wearing a mostly red Republican National Convention polo shirt and a white "Make America Great Again" hat, Joe Sacco stopped at a Maple Donuts on Thursday to get a photo with the store's owner. Sacco's plan is that Donald Trump will sign the photo.

During the bus trip to the Cleveland area, Marc Scaringi plans to broadcast live interviews with other delegates for his radio show.

Matthew Jansen is looking forward to connecting with Trump supporters from across the country, ones who he's talked with online and in text messages. Jansen said he is also bringing a gun "in case something awful were to happen and we needed to defend ourselves." He said he hopes he doesn't have to use it.

Those three will represent York County and the rest of the 4th Congressional Districtat the convention, which begins Monday and ends Thursday evening. Trump, a wealthy businessman and former reality TV star, is expected to formally accept the GOP nomination for president.

Who's going

The majority of Pennsylvania's 71 delegates were elected directly by voters. In the 4th Congressional District -- which includes all of York and Adams counties, plus parts of Cumberland and Dauphin counties -- all three winning delegates ran as Trump supporters.

Scaringi, a 45-year-old attorney from Camp Hill, helped Rick Santorum win election to the U.S. Senate in 1994, and he worked as a legislative aide for part of Santorum's time in office.

"We shut the government down twice. We fought President Clinton so hard, we got him to admit the era of big government is over. ... Boy was he wrong," Scaringi said at an April forum for delegate candidates, drawing laughs.

Scaringi said the days working for Santorum were some of the best of his life.

Sacco, 74, of Shrewsbury, said he served about eight years in the U.S. Army and about 30 years in law enforcement, including as an officer in Baltimore and as Maryland chief constable. During the delegate candidate forum in April, Sacco called the Black Lives Matter movement "a nightmare to my profession. ... I just get upset talking about that."

On Thursday, at the Maple Donuts on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township, Sacco thanked owner Charles Burnside for his public support of Trump.

"Do you want to take a picture in front of that Trump sign out there, or in front of this one on the flagpole?" Burnside asked.

They decided for the first option, posing in front of Trump sign over a red, white and blue image of the United States.

Jansen, who was elected as a Republican committeeman for North Codorus Township in 2014, got national attention after he took issue with a church's sign wishing a blessed Ramadan to its Muslim neighbors. In a voicemail message to the pastor in June, he called Islam "godless" and said the sign was "despicable." He later said he was out of line for making the comments and visited the Hadee Mosque in Harrisburg.

Jansen, 44, is a Spring Grove Area school board member, and he works for a green energy company.

In addition to the delegates, there are three alternate delegates for the district: Charlie Gerow, a political consultant from Cumberland County who worked for Ronald Reagan; Betsy Hower, chairwoman of the Adams County Republican Committee; and G. Edwin Matthias of Cumberland County.

Alternates fill in for delegates if they can't perform their duties. Gerow and Hower both plan to attend the convention. Matthias could not be reached for comment.

State Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, is an at-large alternate delegate for the state GOP.

Wagner traveled to Cleveland on Monday for a meeting with Trump campaign leaders, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, he said in a website post. He said he asked for 20,000 yard signs for Trump. He said he left the meeting with an increased level of confidence in the Trump campaign.

"These guys were professional," Wagner said in an interview. "It was like walking into a business meeting."

What the delegates plan to do

There's the formal business of the convention at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Scaringi said he recently got a call from a group trying to take the nomination away from Trump at the convention. He said he wants to make sure that any such efforts are defeated.

There will be a lot of informal business and parties throughout the week around the city.

Gerow, who has been to every Republican National Convention since 1976, planned to arrive in Cleveland early and spend the weekend with other politicos talking about strategy for races across the country.

But he has less formal responsibilities than he did at past conventions. During the convention, Gerow will do some media appearances. "Other than that I'm just going to enjoy myself, which is a rarity," he said.

For many people, the informal events and parties are just fun.

"If you're there simply to be a delegate on the floor, they're not important at all. They're just kind of the icing on the cake," Gerow said.

But if you're someone who is looking to run for a higher office or build clients for political work, then they can help you build relationships, Gerow said.

Scaringi, Sacco and Jansen all plan to leave southcentral Pennsylvania Sunday morning on a bus trip organized by the state GOP. Sacco said he's received information about a variety of parties during the week. One of them is scheduled to start at 11 p.m. and go to 2 a.m.

He doubted he'd make it to that one, since he expects to start the next day at 6 a.m.

"I'm not a youngster any more," he said.

One of Jansen's guests for the convention will be Gabriel Keller, a Trump supporter from western Pennsylvania. Keller and Jansen worked together during the primary to compile information about delegate candidates across the state to find out which ones would support Trump.

"He was instrumental in getting the word out early on," Jansen said.

Protests are expected during the week, and Jansen said he doesn't think Cleveland officials seem prepared to handle the situation.

"From everything I'm reading, it's still a little bit dicey," Jansen said.

Scaringi said he doesn't plan to carry a firearm, because he won't be able to bring it into the convention center -- which is the main area delegates will be traveling to. "I fear that attendees of the convention, including delegates, could be sitting ducks," Scaringi said.

Wagner said he plans to arrive in Cleveland Tuesday, and he wasn't sure if he would stay through the end of the convention, because of requirements in York County.

"I've got so much going on. I'm not going to be out there for lots of parties and stuff," Wagner said. "I'm not a big party guy."

Local watch party on Thursday

The York County Republican Club will host a watch party on the final night of the Republican National Convention. The local event will take place Thursday at Stone Grille & Taphouse, on the 200 block of St. Charles Way in York Township. It begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact club president Joel Ogle at gopclubyork@gmail.com.

 

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

Tagged under , , , , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »