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Dillsburg pastor to challenge GOP Congressman Scott Perry

Written by Rick Lee/The York Daily Record | Aug 2, 2017 6:57 AM
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George Scott, Democratic candidate for the 4th Congressional District (Photo: Submitted)

Democratic candidate knows it will be an uphill battle.

(York) -- George Scott knows the hurdles he faces. A Democrat from Dillsburg, Scott announced he will seek the 4th Congressional District seat held by three-term Rep, Scott Perry.

Scott, 55, knows he is up against a majority Republican electorate, bucking the area's Congressional history where a Democrat has not been elected since 1964 and has the uphill battle of trying to unseat, should he win the 2018 Democratic primary, a comfortably ensconced conservative Republican congressman who has the backing of the GOP.

But, Scott thinks the time may be right.

George Scott, a U.S. Army vet, former intelligence officer and pastor, will try to unseat Rep. Scott Perry in the 4th Congressional District Rick Lee, Daily Record

 

"I'm not attacking people," Scott said on Tuesday, outside the Philadelphia Street entrance to Central Market in York.

"I respect him (Perry) and I respect the service he provided.

"But, I'm hearing that voters are less concerned about the party and more concerned about the person.

"We need leaders who are less ideological and not so committed to a set of rigid principles."

Here are five reasons why Scott, if he wins the primary and faces Perry in the general election in the fall, could win.

1.) Background: Scott has a breadth of experience that could impress voters. Like Perry, Scott has a military background, serving as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army with experience as an intelligence officer and a Middle East foreign area officer.

Scott also worked for the CIA, briefly in the private sector, again in the intelligence field, and is an ordained minister and pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in East Berlin.

2.) Gene Stilp: Stilp is Scott's campaign manager as the campaign gets off the ground. Called both a "good government activist" and a gadfly by the media, Stilp has years of experience in politics. Stilp mounted an unsuccessful campaign in 2012 to unseat Rep. Lou Barletta after winning the Democratic primary. 

Perry's last Democratic challenger was knocked off the ballot when his nomination petitions were challenged and then struck by Commonwealth Court. Stilp said Tuesday that won't happen to Scott.

3.) Trump:Perry has strongly supported President Trump whose popularity and job performance numbers continue to sag. Any continuing downward spiral by the President  could benefit Scott.

4.) Foot in mouth: Perry has drawn some ridicule since his re-election by blaming God for pollution at a town hall meeting. He also took heat -- rightly or wrongly -- for trying to remove climate change reporting from the 2018 defense bill.

5.) Obamacare: While Perry continues to advocate for the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act, something which Republicans have been unable to accomplish, Scott said the ACA should be repaired "rather than torn down ... and working from scratch," something the Republicans also have been unable to accomplish to the satisfaction of the GOP.

As recently as January, Perry wrote a guest column in the York Daily Record stating that Obamacare has failed and the GOP plan will work.

Here are five reasons why Scott can't beat Perry.

1.) Republican voter edge: The voter registration weighs heavily in Perry's favor with a roughly 4-to-3 Republican edge. No Democrat has been elected to Congress from the York and Adams area since 1964. That Congressman served one term and was succeeded by George Goodling in 1967. Republicans have held the seat since.

2.) Who is George Scott? Scott will have to campaign hard to bring his name recognition even close to Perry's among all registered 4th District voters.

3.) Fundraising: While Scott is just beginning to raise money for his campaign, in April, the first quarter of the finance reporting period, Perry had a little more than $35,500 in his campaign war chest, 90 percent of that coming from PACs.

4.) Primary opponents: Scott may not be the only Democratic to run for the district seat. Stilp said he expects other candidates to announce.

5.) He's from York? Yorkers don't care: Republicans, at least in York County, won't even vote for their native sons. Gov. Tom Wolf, from Mount Wolf, and state Auditor General Eugene Depasquale, from York, both failed to carry the county during their elections.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

Published in York

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