Candidates, parties organize get-out-the-vote push in York County

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

If you're a person with a phone number and a home address — in other words, anyone — you've probably been on the receiving end of a wave of campaigning this fall.

That includes text messages, some of which address the recipient by name; candidates knocking on doors; and, of course, those robocalls.

All of this is the result of several close races — for U.S. Senate, for governor and for the 10th Congressional District — and York County's own unique position on the cutting edge of these battlegrounds.

"We're doing the traditional things, like canvassing, door knocking, making them aware who's on the ballot and certainly get them engaged in the process," Democratic Party of York chair Chad Baker said. "We'll be doing some phone banking, text banking, just reaching out to some of those voters that we may have talked to early in the cycle, just to remind them if they've been doing the mail-in ballot to get those in and if not to get out on Nov. 8."

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Baker said the local party has been coordinating with the campaigns for Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman — who's been emphasizing his local Springettsbury Township roots — for canvassing efforts.

One key race has a stronger effort than years past, he said: That's the 10th Congressional District, where Shamaine Daniels is taking on incumbent Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township. That's down to Democratic clubs and organizations that have built up volunteers since 2018.

"They have just continued to grow over the past four years," Baker said.

The 10th is still a bit of a stretch for Democrats. According to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight, a website that tracks political and opinion polling data, the newly drawn district lines shifted the partisan makeup of the district based on recent elections one percentage point — at R+9 — toward the Republicans.

Nonetheless, the district could be within Daniels' grasp in a Democratic wave year.

Fetterman and Daniels have both been actively campaigning in York County in recent weeks.

“It’s so great to be in York, my home,” Fetterman said at a rally earlier this month.

Perry, Daniels' opponent, generally has not been as visible on the campaign trail, but Fetterman's opponent, TV personality Mehmet Oz, has made a point of visiting the region.

"I learned my outlook on life in Pennsylvania," Oz said at an appearance in Spring Garden Township last week. "We spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania; a couple of my daughters were born here. We have always treasured that this is the state that we would end our lives in."

Oz has faced criticism for his longstanding ties to New Jersey. ABC News recently reported that the deed to his $3.1 million residence in Montgomery County came with a clause allowing the previous owners the right of first refusal should Oz ever put the home back on the market.

Local GOP officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment on their campaign efforts. However, the organization has held several events for candidates. That includes the "Great American Meet and Greet" at Boomerang Bar and Grill in Cumberland County. Held Oct. 23, the event included Perry and state 92nd House District Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-Carroll Township, among its expected guests.

Events are ongoing for both the statewide races and local races, like Chris Rodkey against incumbent state Rep. Mike Jones, R-York Township, in the 93rd House District. Rodkey recently hosted a fundraiser at York City's Revival Social Club.

Jones, for his part, was scheduled to host an event at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort on Tuesday night.

In the 169th Legislative District, Democrat Issac Riston has been door knocking, according to his website. Riston is running against incumbent Rep. Kate Klunk, R-Hanover.

Klunk also made an appearance at the York County GOP's chicken barbecue and fundraiser in early October.

In addition, the party organized a door knocking event on Oct. 9 to speak with Hispanic voters regarding Republican candidates.

Daniels, meanwhile, hosted a meet and greet Tuesday in Harrisburg along with lieutenant governor candidate Austin Davis. She has also been door knocking, most recently in Dillsburg with candidate Dan Almoney, who is running against Keefer in the 92nd House District.

Shamaine Daniels, of Harrisburg, is shown in Harrisburg, Thursday, June 23, 2022. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"We need voters to know who's currently representing them," Baker said.

Baker praised Daniels' effort in particular. He noted that she got a late start in terms of registering for the race as well as a close primary against Rick Coplen.

"She's really had a strong effort in organizing canvassing and door knocking, especially in the northern region up in Harrisburg and even in York City," Baker said.

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Perry has also been participating in door knocking, most recently in Newville, Cumberland County, with 199th District State Rep. Barb Gleim.

It's not just about promoting your own candidate, Baker said. When you're running against an incumbent, it's important to let people know who actually represents them.

"Make sure voters know who's currently representing them," he said, "and what their record is and have that conversation with them."

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