Propelled by Kavanaugh confirmation, GOP calls for votes

Lycoming County republicans gathered at the Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Co. for the Republican Committee Fall Dinner. Shown here, Lt. govenor candidate Jeff Bartos speaks with county Commissioner Tony Mussare, left, and Vince Matteo, president and CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce. KATELYN HIBBARD/Sun-Gazette

The importance of showing up to the polls was a common talking point among the guests at the Lycoming County Republican Committee’s first annual fall dinner held Saturday evening at the Eldred Township Volunteer Fire Co.

“In order to keep momentum going, we need to get out and vote,” said U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station.

Voter turnout is “critical,” especially in Lycoming, Luzerne and some of the more southern counties, agreed Jeff Bartos, candidate for lieutenant governor.

He went on to thank those in attendance, saying they are “who have made this 20-month journey incredibly rewarding for me.”

“My campaign, at its heart, is about making Pennsylvania a place our children and grandchildren want to stay,” he said. “Electing and re-electing (our congressmen and women) starts with voter engagement and turnout.”

In an environment electric with the fresh news of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation as the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice, state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, echoed Bartos and added he thinks voters will come out in higher numbers for the upcoming election.

“The whole process Justice Kavanaugh was put through is going to incentivize republicans to get out and vote,” Yaw said. “That’s where we’re headed. There could be a higher turnout than people are expecting.”

After a meal reminiscent of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, Joe Hamm, chairman of the committee, addressed his fellow republicans and harnessed their excitement.

“The economy is booming … ISIS is on the run … we’re in negotiations with North Korea,” he said. “It’s pretty clear what this election means … If we want to see things keep moving forward, we have to get out to vote.”


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