York NAACP forum to feature mainly Democrats as most GOP candidates bow out

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

A Tuesday night York NAACP candidates forum will feature representatives from six races key races on November's ballot.

But the event, set for 6:30 p.m. at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, will predominantly be attended by Democrats.

Of the six races that will be represented at the forum, only one Republican candidate — incumbent state Rep. Mike Jones — confirmed to The York Dispatch that he plans to attend. Jones will be joined by his Democratic opponent, Chris Rodkey, and Kristine Cousler-Womack, of the Keystone Party of Pennsylvania.

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U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-York County, said he will not attend. His Democratic opponent Shamaine Daniels will be there, however, according to the NAACP.

State Rep. Mike Jones (R-York Township) is joined by restaurant owners discuss safe business practices to be put into place for dine-in service during a demonstration at The Paddock on Market in Springettsbury Township, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Rep. Jones is one of the leaders of the ReopenYorkPA movement. Dawn J. Sagert photo

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster County, will also not be in attendance. His Democratic opponent, Bob Hollister, is scheduled to appear, however. Hollister confirmed his attendance in an email to The York Dispatch, while Smucker's campaign manager, Jenna Geesy, said Smucker had a prior commitment that evening.

Republican state Rep. Kate Klunk said in an email that she had a prior commitment and would not be attending. Her Democratic opponent, Isaac Riston, will be there.

According to the NAACP, Republican state Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill will not attend. Her opponent, Democrat Judith McCormick Higgins, confirmed her attendance while Phillips-Hill did not respond to a request for comment.

Likewise, Republican state Rep. Dawn Keefer will not attend. Her opponent, Democrat Dan Almoney, will be there.

York NAACP did not respond to a request for comment on the lack of Republican participation in the event.

Last year, the NAACP held two community forums with York City Mayor Michael Helfrich and his opponent, independent Shareef Hameed.

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The forum at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts will also be viewable on Zoom at the link here https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81355696279?pwd=UGZkUTh4SlpiY2tMUkNESWJKMjl1QT09. The meeting ID is 813 5569 6279 and the passcode is 528484. To call in, dial 1-646-558-8656.

Doors will open at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts, 50 North George St., York, at 6 p.m. The forum is set to run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.