Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson’s combined vote total was nearly half of all voting, with Cruz in the lead by a narrow margin. While the major focus on the breakfast meeting this past Saturday in south central Pennsylvania was on three Republican legislator primary races featuring seven local candidates at a candidate forum “meet and greet” sponsored by a traditional conservative Christian organization, the Presidential contest for 2016 gave attendees the chance to cast an early ballot for President which will not heat up until next year.
It was anybody’s guess going into the secret ballot which candidates for President would come out on top and who would finish at the bottom, with the entire breakfast focused on hearing from the candidates for three state house of representative seats, and no speeches on the Presidential nomination subject - just a secret ballot at the end of the breakfast, a delay while ballots were counted, and the announcement of the winners.
ACTION of PA (Americans for Christian Traditions in our Nation) York county chapter has announced the winners of its straw poll following its candidate forum on Saturday March 15, at Cross Keys Motor Inn in New Oxford. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) won the presidential poll, edging Neurosurgeon Ben Carson by one vote, with “undecided” finishing in third place. All other candidates finished well below the vote totals for these “top three” which were a clear majority of all ballots cast.
In the straw poll for state representative race for the 169th district, Marc Woerner won, narrowly edging out second place favorite Leroy Wentz, who is a member of ACTION of PA. Kate Klunk, and Gene Montanarelli finished a distant third and fourth place in that contest.
In the straw poll for the 193rd district, State Rep. Will Tallman beat Bryan Gembusia. State Rep. Seth Grove defeated Beth Roberts in the poll for the 196th district. The two incumbents, Tallman and Grove, were on friendly territory, with both having been named “Statesman of the year” by ACTION of PA, and winning by an impressive, nearly three-to-one margin over their challenger.
The challenger to Seth Grove did not win friends at the gathering by her advocacy of what she called “marriage equality” and which the members of ACTION see as an attack on their family values. “She represents the libertarian wing of the Tea Party and we simply do not agree with her on some important issues” one of the breakfast attendees said.
“America’s founders were devout men of faith,” said Jay McKiernan, President of the York County Action, “and those who govern us today would do well to emulate their moral compass in deciding the issues that face Pennsylvania in the years ahead. We congratulate those who impressed our members enough to win their vote today. We note that the two most articulate conservatives prospects for President who speak most openly about their faith in God and belief in Jesus Christ, won our members’ vote, and we hope that message resonates with all candidates for President in 2016.”
“We also congratulate State Representatives Seth Grove and Will Tallman, our past Statesmen of the Year, for their decisive straw poll victory, and Marc Woerner, candidate for the new 169th representative seat,” said McKiernan (press statement HERE).
Representative Grove thanked the ACTION of PA York Chapter for his landslide victory, saying “The Republican Party can and must continue to stand for important conservative principles including cutting spending, reducing the harmful effects of Obamacare, cutting property taxes and other taxes that the Democrats want to raise.
Representative Grove continued, “This is not the time to turn our back on the very principles that gave us a majority in Harrisburg and in the U.S. House of Representatives. The party of Ronald Reagan must not retreat or water down our principles but stand firm."
All state representative candidates were given equal time to make opening remarks and answer four questions each. The topics included education, marriage, abortion, legislative reform and gambling. The seven candidates face off in a May 20 primary in Pennsylvania to run as the GOP nominee for three state representative seats, with nearly one hundred people in attendance.
Although the Presidential contest saw no organized effort to influence the vote, a flyer was distributed to some at the breakfast meeting showing favorable comments about Senator Ted Cruz made at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. The flyer can be viewed at the new “Ted Cruz for President PA” Facebook page. The group has issued a call for all Ted Cruz sympathizers who reside in Pennsylvania to “like” Ted Cruz for President PA.
A “Pennysylvania BenCarson 2016” draft Presidential campaign Faceook page is also looking to expand, and although none of their representatives was able to accept the invitation to attend the meeting, they are no doubt pleased with the very good finish for their favorite in the straw poll.
ACTION of PA (Americans for Christian Traditions In Our Nation) is a pro-life, pro-family political action committee.
Presidential Poll Results
Ted Cruz = 23.1%
Ben Carson = 21.8%
Undecided = 12.8%
Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker = 6.4% each
The other candidates received less than 4 four votes.
The 196th District Results
Seth Grove = 74.0%
Beth Roberts = 26.0%
Tallman = 70.7%
Gembusia = 29.3%
169th District Results:
Woerner = 51.3%
Wentz = 34.2%
Klunk = 7.9%
Montanarelli = 6.5%-30
Comments on the Presidential poll, the local races or membership queries can be sent to the ACTION of PA Facebook page.
One of those present at the breakfast told this writer that ACTION of PA is the only organization where all three parts of the conservative movement can be comfortable working together and are welcome - economic and freedom conservatives, the national defense conservatives and traditional values or "faith based" voters. And of course, "all of the above" activists are welcome as well.
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