CUMBERLAND COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA – On a one-day fundraising trip through Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Ron DeSantis met with donors at a luncheon in Harrisburg and spoke at an evening reception in Pittsburgh.
The rare trip outside early-voting states comes as DeSantis returns to the campaign trail after overseeing hurricane preparations and recovery in Florida. The two private events nearly doubled the big-dollar donations his campaign reported during its first quarter in the state.
“I thought he was very impressive,” said Mike Acker, who attended the event in Harrisburg. “The things that he’s been able to accomplish in Florida have been very impressive. I’m a part-time resident of that state, so I get to witness it myself. And he’s done it. He’s done a good job.”
Cumberland County GOP Chair Lou Capozzi described DeSantis as a candidate with a “very good moral compass” and “great leadership skills.”
“Once the candidates get weaned out a little bit, I think a lot of that support is going to go to Ron DeSantis, and I think you’ll see his polling numbers go up,” Capozzi said.
REPLICATING FLORIDA’S SUCCESS
Despite a warm welcome from Republicans, Pennsylvania Democrats criticized his presence in the state:
“As Ron DeSantis heads back to Pennsylvania to peddle the same MAGA agenda that has failed Floridians and left working families crushed under skyrocketing costs, the split screen couldn’t be starker. Instead of addressing the actual issues facing families in our state and across the country, DeSantis has shown us that he’s more concerned about passing extreme abortion bans, banning books, erasing history, and shilling for the ultra-wealthy.”
“I don’t think he’s extreme at all,” Capozzi said. “Anyone in this area that has any sense of values knows that Ron DeSantis does the right thing. You know, damn the consequences.”
Guy Ciarrocchi, one of the hosts of the Pittsburgh event, said DeSantis’ promise that he would replicate what he did in Florida on a national scale was compelling.
“It’s the best state economy, with the best public schools, the most parental choice and parents’ rights, and a low crime rate,” Ciarrocchi said. “The GOP has grown, especially among Hispanics, Blacks and Indian-Americans. When he makes that case, it’s clear he’s the best choice to beat Biden and to govern successfully.”