In York County, big night for Trump supporters

John Joyce

After a day spent at the polls, dozens of York County Republicans — many of whom served as volunteers at their respective polling precincts — turned out to the Wyndham Garden Hotel in York to watch the results come in following Tuesday's primary elections.

York Co. Rep. Committee Chair Alex Shorb, in white, awaits 31st Senate and 92nd House results, welcomes Trump's win.

Donald Trump won in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Delaware, adding to his delegate lead over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Trump now holds 950 delegates to Cruz's 595 and Kasich's 153, with a required total of 1,237 delegates required to claim the Republican nomination. To that end, Pennsylvania districts also voted to select 54 unbound delegates, three from the 4th Congressional District, which includes York County, to represent the state at the convention. Together with 17 state-selected bound delegates to be determined next week, the combined 71 delegates will cast their votes for the nominee.

York County Republican Committee Executive Director Jenna Geesey said if the delegates selected from District 4 were Trump supporters, there should be no issues with the delegates voting for Trump. If not, and if Trump does not secure the nomination via the required 1,237 delegates ahead of the convention, the delegates could vote for the candidate of their choosing after the first ballot at what would then become a contested Republican convention.

"It will be interesting to see if the numbers align," Geesey said.

As the night wore on, the picture began to clear a bit. Winning candidates for delegate Joe Sacco, Matthew Jansen and Marc Scaringi each ran as Trump supporters, vowing to vote for Trump throughout the convention.

No surprise: York County Republican Committee Chairman Alex Shorb, who ran but did not win a spot as a delegate bound for Cleveland, said Trump appeared to be very strong both countywide and statewide.

"That gives him a lot of momentum going into Indiana," Shorb said.

Trump's victory came as no surprise to Shorb, given that York is a largely Republican county, he said.

"You have individuals who have been voting Republican all their lives who are dissatisfied with what is going on in Washington. Trump represents an outsider, somebody who is going to protect jobs," he said.

It still matters how things shake out heading into Cleveland. Shorb said that the 54 unbound delegates seem to be going for Trump, and the 17 bound delegates are required to vote for Trump on the first ballot, based on Tuesday's primary results.

"But then they are unbound after that," he said. "And it is still unknown whether they will be Trump supporters on a second ballot."

Supporters: Trump supporters at the viewing party Tuesday night had no qualms about announcing their affiliations with the front-runner. Many were eager to speak about why they are supporting the candidate who they readily admit is at times too outspoken even for their taste.

"Obviously, people look at sort of the negatives that Trump brings in, but I am a big believer that this is a process, it's a little bit of a show. You have to grab your audience and keep them, and Trump is very good at that," Rich Biscoe said.

Biscoe, an area businessman, went on to say that Trump's successes in business and his core message of "Make America Great Again" resonate with him personally.

"If you are going to start (with that) as your premise, you've already got most of me," he said. "Then I am a believer that much of what he has done has been successful ... I like the idea of having a business person as the president of the country. I'd like to see how that works."

York County District Attorney's Office Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jared Mellott said the fact that Trump is not a politician appealed to him as well.

"I do want an outsider as president. We've had insiders for decade upon decade and it hasn't worked out very well," Mellott said. "It is time we had somebody who knows the system like Trump does but isn't of the system."

Mellott also said he is attracted to Trump as a candidate based on his tough stance on immigration. In his work, Mellott said he encounters a lot of drug-related crime, including gang activity.

"I am very concerned about illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants do penetrate into Pennsylvania, and they commit a lot of crimes, and none of those crimes would happen if they weren't here," Mellot said. "He is very clear on that issue, building a wall and enforcing the law, which is apparently a novel concept for a lot of politicians."