Pence stumps for Perry, Smucker in visit to Lancaster

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch

Vice President Mike Pence stopped by Lancaster Airport on Wednesday, Oct. 24, to shake some hands and campaign on behalf of the two Republican incumbents hoping to represent parts of York County in the U.S. House come midterms.

Incumbent Republican Reps. Scott Perry and Lloyd Smucker are running for the state's 10th and 11th districts, respectively, and doing some last-minute campaign stops with just two weeks before the Nov. 6 Election Day. 

Vice President Mike Pence greets supporters after landing during a stop at Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Pence was joined by Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry and Lloyd Smucker during the event. Bill Kalina photo

The races: The 10th District is composed of northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County. The 11th District is composed of southern York County and all of Lancaster County.

Smucker is running against Democratic challenger Jess King, and Perry is facing off with Democrat George Scott. The liberal candidates are both political newcomers, while Perry has served three terms in the House and Smucker has served one.

During all three of the Republicans' speeches, they made one thing clear: They believe voters can't let Democrats win on Election Day or the progress made under President Donald Trump will be reversed.

More:Rep. Scott Perry, George Scott bring civility to second 10th District debate

More:Jess King, Rep. Lloyd Smucker clash over campaign finances at first debate

The vice president first went through a list of Trump's accomplishments, emphasizing a low unemployment rate and a crackdown on illegal immigration, which he said "violates our sovereignty" and "is an assault on our country."

Pence also boasted of the Republicans' work to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." Both Perry and Smucker voted for the repeal and want to further pursue it.

Vice President Mike Pence signs autographs, many on "Make America Great Again" hats, after speaking during a stop at Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Pence was joined by Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry, center, and Lloyd Smucker during the event. Bill Kalina photo

Pence cites progress: Pence wasn't shy about talking up the candidates at the event. Both Perry and Smucker are ahead in the polls — although Perry by only 1 percent in a recent poll.

More:New poll shows George Scott one point behind Rep. Scott Perry

"It's been two years of action," Pence said. "It's been two years of results; it's been two years of promises made and promises kept."

Pence's and the candidates' remarks were repeatedly cheered on by the crowd, many of whom were covered in campaign apparel and sporting campaign signs for both candidates.

Pence encouraged attendees to vote to oppose the "socialist policies" allegedly proposed by the Democratic congressional candidates.

"We've made great progress, and you have two great leaders," Pence said. "You have proven leaders with proven records who have always stood for conservative principles and values."

The candidates: Rep. Lou Barletta, hoping to take Sen. Bob Casey's seat in November, also made a brief appearance on stage with Pence, receiving praise from the vice president.

More:Barletta: Low unemployment, high GDP 'just the beginning of what we can do'

Barletta didn't speak, but both Trump and Pence have publicly endorsed the Republican Senate hopeful during his run.

When Perry took the stage, the three-term incumbent took most of his time to talk about the Trump administration's success.

"A strong America: That's the choice right now," Perry said. "We have that choice, or we have the other side, which is resistance, which is obstruction. They don't want to legislate, they want to litigate."

Vice President Mike Pence, center, emerges from Air Force Two with incumbent Republican candidates Lloyd Smucker, left, and Scott Perry during Pence's stop at Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

He added the Democratic candidates "got all the money and all the press" on their side, but that won't help in the conservative 10th and 11th districts.

'Look at how great America has gotten': Smucker, introduced by Perry, repeated what he long has said in ads and campaign rhetoric, including calling King a "socialist."

But Smucker largely used his stage time to urge the attendees to "look at how great America is again," citing the country's progress under Republican leadership.

That progress included consumer confidence, low unemployment rates, a "booming economy" and the appointment of two Supreme Court justices, he said.

Like Perry, he also drew a stark line between the two parties and their candidates.

"The choice we have in just 13 days is very clear," Smucker said. "Do you want to double your taxes and go back to the bad, old days, or do you want to continue making America great again?"

To continue on the path, he said, the district's residents need to vote Republican come Election Day, adding "nothing can stop Americans when (Republicans) are in the driver's seat."

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

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