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In York City, DePasquale sets eyes on Nov. election with primary still three months away

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale holds his first campaign event in York at Crispus Attucks, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. DePasquale is running as a democratic challenger to Congressman Scott Perry.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The looming April 28 primary election didn't seem to weigh on the mind of state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Tuesday as he spoke with voters during his first town hall in York County as a candidate for Congress.

The Democrat and York County native spoke to more than 30 voters Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Crispus Attucks in York City. Earlier that day, his campaign aimed at ousting U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, announced it broke $300,000 in fundraising for the second consecutive quarter.

“(Perry) wants to represent an ideology," DePasquale said. "I want to represent the district — that’s the biggest difference.”

More:DePasquale outraised Perry in third quarter, according to finance reports

More:Democrat Brier sees York City as key to congressional bid

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Tuesday's town hall proved to be informal and conversational, with DePasquale often cracking jokes about sports teams and his fitness before addressing questions on a variety of topics that affect the state's 10th Congressional District.

DePasquale specifically detailed his desire to improve public transportation, improve access to health care and financial institutions in rural areas and move the county toward zero-carbon emissions. 

But even with the April 28 primary around the corner, where he faces a primary challenger — Hershey-based author and attorney Tom Brier — the auditor general  maintained focus on the November general election.

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale holds his first campaign event in York at Crispus Attucks, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. DePasquale is running as a democratic challenger to Congressman Scott Perry.
John A. Pavoncello photo

That may be a good bet, as political analysts have said his name recognition makes him a uniquely strong candidate in the district that has been rated a toss-up by The Cook Political Report and Politico.

DePasquale didn't entertain a question asking him to differentiate himself from Brier, instead citing his record as auditor general holding the powerful accountable and serving as the state's fiscal watchdog.

But he had no problem entertaining a general election race against Perry, at one point specifically detailing how he would deal with a dirty campaign on Perry's part, something he said will likely come into play.

“The No. 1 thing I need to do is to get out the message of why I’m the best person to lead this region in the United States Congress,” DePasquale said. “The more people know about me, the more some of the nonsense that flies up at the end doesn’t stick.”

DePasquale's campaign on Tuesday morning announced the Democrat had once again broke the $300,000 threshold in the most recent fundraising quarter with nearly $500,000 cash on hand. More than 90% of donations came from within Pennsylvania, according to the news release.

Perry has not yet released his fundraising numbers from the fourth quarter of 2019. But in the race's October quarterly report, DePasquale raised about $360,000 compared to Perry's $299,000.

Perry then had the upper hand with cash on hand, however, reporting $500,000.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.