HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Tea Party Patriots of Central Pennsylvania say they’re supporting Donald Trump for President.
At a monthly meeting of the group Monday in Harrisburg, members reinforced that Ted Cruz was their clear first choice among primary candidates. However, in frequent straw polls taken among local members during the primary, Trump was a consistent second option behind Cruz.
“I think there’s disappointment that this known conservative entity is not the candidate,” Allen McCormack, a Tea Party member, said of Cruz, “but I think by the same token, there is a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of excitement for Donald Trump, too.”
Dan Mosel, a Cruz supporter and delegate candidate who was not elected during the Pennsylvania primary on April 26, says he’s now on board with Trump. A button worn on his patriotic hat that had once shown support for Cruz now reads, “Republicans Trump Democrats,” with a picture of Trump in the center.
“There are very few who are 100 percent pro-Trump because there’s a lot of baggage there,” Mosel said, “but when you look at the comparison to what’s on the other side, Hillary Clinton, she’s a great one to unite the Republican Party.”
Invited to speak at Monday’s meeting, Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA), who did not endorse any candidate publicly during the contested portion of the primary, said he would support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee moving forward. As for others of his party in Washington and in the Midstate who have joined the #NeverTrump crowd, Perry says a moral boycott at the voting booth is counter-productive.
“I’ll talk to some folks in church who say, well, I could never vote for Donald Trump,” Perry said, recalling his conversations with constituents. “[They say] I’m a Christian and he just doesn’t stand for anything that I stand for. I will never vote for him. I say, look, Jesus is not on the ballot. It’s Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If Jesus were on the ballot, I’d understand, but he’s not. And the only way to make things better is to pick one and vote and be involved. It’s not going to get better if you just go away.”