Monday, June 29, 2015

Northeast Republican Leadership Conference

 
I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend the much publicized Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Philadelphia that wrapped up June 20th.  There were over 600 attendees from 20 states, but I was one of only a few State Committee people from Southwestern Western Pennsylvania who were able to make the journey this year.  Our State Committee Chairman, Rob Gleason explained that the Northeast Conference was being held in Pennsylvania this year because we will be a battleground state in 2016.  No Democrat has ever become President of the United States without carrying Pennsylvania. Two great highlights of the conference for me were meeting and talking with United States Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa, and then, at the invitation of our National Committee Woman Christine Toretti, leading the Pledge of Allegiance just prior to the keynote address from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The Conference speakers included former New York Governor George Pataki, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Congressman Steve King,  Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush Karl Rove, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

In addition to these great speakers, the conference offered a number of policy and  training sessions led by expert panels.  Topics covered included American Foreign Policy and Terrorism, Connecting Social Medial and Local Candidates, How Big Data is Revolutionizing Politics, and Obamacare, HillaryCare, and Winning Healthcare Reform.

A presidential straw poll was conducted throughout the event, and yes, credentials were required to cast your ballot.  The top five vote-getters were lead by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who won the straw poll with 25.3 percent of the vote.  Governor Chris Christie won 11.6 percent taking second place. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finished third with 11 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tied with 9.6 percent.

Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions about the conference.