GOP delegate candidates reveal picks for president

Greg Gross
  • Republican voters in the state will elect 54 delegates in the April 26 primary

An oddity in how Pennsylvania Republicans elect delegates for the party's national presidential nominating convention often leaves voters wondering where the delegate candidates' loyalties lie.

The 54 elected delegates aren't required to say who they'd support for president ahead of the state's April 26 primary and can vote for any of the three candidates — businessman Donald Trump, Ohio Gov. John Kasich or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz — at the party's July convention in Cleveland.

With no clear winner so far this primary season, the convention is expected to be contested, and Pennsylvania's delegates could be a deciding factor in who gets the nomination.

Each congressional district in the state elects three delegates, and in the 4th Congressional District, 15 people are vying to be a delegate. The district includes York and Adams counties and parts of Cumberland and Dauphin counties.

Most of the delegate candidates announced at a York 912 Patriots meeting on Monday how they'd cast their votes at the convention. About 100 people attended the meeting.

"We all know 2016 is as critical as an election that any one of us will experience," said Charlie Gerow, a delegate candidate who has attended every Republican convention since 1976 as a delegate.

Alex Shorb

Where they stand: Here's how the delegate candidates said they'd vote at the convention:

  • Gerow: Winner of the district on the first ballot. On subsequent ballots, would vote for the person he believes can win the November election.
  • Edwin Matthias: Cruz unless it's an uncontested convention.
  • Elizabeth Hower: Winner of the Pennsylvania primary throughout.
  • Alex Shorb: Winner of the district on the first ballot. Then would take into consideration who won the state and other factors on subsequent ballots.
  • Scott Burford: Winner of the state primary on the first ballot then would re-evaluate on subsequent ballots.
  • Matthew Jansen: Donald Trump throughout the convention.
  • Andrew Ritter: Winner of the district. Then on subsequent ballots would vote for the person he believes can win in November.
  • Tim Barker: Winner of the district throughout the convention.
  • Marc Scaringi: Trump throughout the convention.
  • Joe Sacco: Trump throughout the convention.
  • Cumberland County State Rep. Greg Rothman: Winner of the district on the first ballot.
  • Windsor Township State Rep. Stan Saylor: Winner of York County on the first ballot, would also consider winner of the district.
  • Marilyn Gillespie: Cruz throughout the convention.

Gillespie, Rothman and Saylor did not attend the meeting. However, they gave their answers to the York County Republican Committee for its delegate voter's guide.

Candidates Anna Puig and Amy Brennan did not attend the meeting, nor did they provide answers to the Republican committee.

An additional, nonelected 17 GOP delegates from the state are tied to the candidate who carries Pennsylvania, but only in the first round of convention voting. After that, those delegates are free to vote for anyone they choose. The party has a total of 71 delegates up for grabs.

York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Barker speaks during a press conference regarding the arrest and  charges being filed against Howard Timothy Cofflin Jr., at the Pennsylvania State Police Department in Loganville, Pa. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. (Dawn J. Sagert - The York Dispatch)

Democrats: On the Democratic side, voters know who each of the delegate candidates back for president — either Hillary Clinton or Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — when they head to the polls. Who each delegate candidate supports is listed beside his or her name on the ballot.

Across the Keystone State, voters will elect 127 Democratic delegates in the 18 congressional districts, but there are also preordained delegates, including superdelegate Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is supporting Clinton, for a total of 210 Democratic delegates at stake.

In the 4th Congressional District, voters will select an equal number of men and woman to make up the six-member delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Here's a look at who the Democratic delegate candidates have committed to, according to sample ballots from the York County elections office:

  • Bernie Sanders: Kathleen Albright, Madeleine Nesbitt, Sara Laird, Mike Johnson, Bruce Neylon and Tim Butler.
  • Hillary Clinton: State Rep. Patty Kim, York City Mayor Kim Bracey, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, state Rep. Kevin Schreiber and Frank Snyder.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.