Presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain is coming to York next week, according to an e-mail his campaign sent out Wednesday.
Frank A. Orban III, co-chairman of McCain's Lancaster County campaign, said the appearance will take place Tuesday at the Toyota Arena at the York Expo Center. He said the doors will open at 9:45 a.m.
The national campaign's e-mail described the appearance as a "major campaign event."
"He will discuss his plan to keep and create jobs in Pennsylvania, get our economy moving again, and lower gas prices," the e-mail states.
McCain supporters throughout York County reported getting automated messages on their answering machines announcing McCain's upcoming appearance.
Among them was Russell Starner of Red
Lion. Starner said he's legally blind so getting transportation into York might be problematic for him. But he's pulling for McCain and is excited the senator is coming to the county.
State Rep Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, said he hopes to attend. He recommends all other county residents do the same.
Even if they're lukewarm on McCain now, Perry predicts they will be full-fledged supporters after seeing him in person. He says that with some degree of certainty, because that was his experience.
McCain hadn't been Perry's favorite among the slate of primary candidates. When he got an invitation to a campaign event in Pittsburgh earlier this summer, he decided to go anyway. Meeting and talking with McCain made a convert out of him.
"I was pretty impressed with him," Perry said. "He's really down-to-earth. You might not always agree with him, but he's got principles and you know where he stands."
A. Carville "Peck" Foster, chairman of the York County Republican Party, said he figured McCain would get to York County sooner or later. He was pleasantly surprised to find out it's happening so early in the campaign.
"We thought it was going to be much later," Carville said.
State Rep. Bev Mackereth, R-Spring Grove, said that she was also pleased to hear the news.
"I'm excited anytime a candidate comes," she said. "A candidate who could be the next president."
Richard Poole of York isn't sure if he'll be able to make it for McCain's local appearance. But he said he's been an admirer since well before McCain was elected senator.
Poole said he graduated from the Naval Academy the year McCain was shot down in Vietnam, and he kept track of McCain throughout his captivity.
"I think it's a positive thing that he's coming to Pennsylvania," Poole said. "If he could somehow carry Pennsylvania, it would go a long way toward his success."
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Frank A. Orban III, co-chairman of John McCain's Lancaster County campaign, said McCain's appearance at the Toyota Arena on Tuesday will be for ticket-holders only. According to the John McCain campaign, if you're interested in attending, you should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-1538 and leave your name and phone number.
Sen. John McCain last visited York County in July of 2006. It wasn't a "major campaign event," as McCain's spokespeople are promising for his appearance next week. In fact, it was pretty low-key.
McCain went to U.S. Rep. Todd Platts' home in Spring Garden Township, where he held a 20-minute press conference in the driveway. He talked up Platts, who was running for re-election. Then he went to a fundraiser at a local home.
Platts returned the favor the following March by endorsing McCain, who was considered a long shot at the time, in his bid for the Republican nomination as presidential candidate.
Here's a sampling of visits by America's chief executives before, during or after their terms of office:
James Buchanan: Regularly passed through York County on his way to his home, Wheatland, in Lancaster County.
George Washington: In a 1791 visit, the president worshipped at the German Reformed Church on West Market Street. Passing through York County in 1794 after addressing the Whiskey Rebellion, the president experienced an uneasy Susquehanna River crossing: ". . . I rode yesterday afternoon thro' the rain from York Town to this place, and got twice in the height of it hung (and delayed by that means) on the rocks in the middle of the Susquehanna . . ."
John Adams: The president sharply criticized York during his brief stay as a member of the Continental Congress in 1777-78. Turning the other cheek in 1800, York residents gave the then-president a warm reception in an overnight stop.
Andrew Jackson: In 1819, before his presidential years, the noted general complained about an overcharge. Jackson lost his temper when informed he owed $50 to Cornelius Garrettson for conveying him from the Shrewsbury area to York in a sled. Jackson countered with $30, which Garrettson accepted.
Abraham Lincoln: On his way to Gettysburg for his famous address in 1863, Lincoln's train paused in Hanover. In 1865, Lincoln's body was aboard his touring funeral train when it stopped in York.
Theodore Roosevelt: In 1906, President Roosevelt, just back from dedicating the new capitol building in Harrisburg, rode in an open carriage from York's Centre Square to the fairgrounds where he touted York's growing prosperity.
John F. Kennedy: As a presidential candidate in 1960, Kennedy spoke before a crowd of 4,500 people at the York Fair.
Lyndon B. Johnson: The president and his wife, Lady Bird, keynoted the Dallastown Centennial on Sept. 4, 1966.
Richard M. Nixon: In 1946, when Nixon was first elected to the U.S. House, Nixon's parents moved to a Menges Mills farm. Their famous son visited them several times.
Ronald Reagan: The president toured Harley-Davidson's plant in Springettsbury Township in 1987.
George H.W. Bush: The president was the main attraction at a political fund-raiser in Monaghan Township, in northern York County.
Bill Clinton: York became the Democratic nominee's first campaign stop in 1992. An estimated crowd of 3,000 awaited him at 10:15 p.m.
George W. Bush: In a visit to Harley-Davidson in 2006, President Bush got on a motorcycle, unlike his predecessors Reagan and Clinton. He also appeared at the York Expo Center in 2004.
2008 CAMPAIGN STOPSHillary Clinton visits York (April 19)
Chelsea Clinton visits York College (April 3)
Chelsea Clinton praises Hanover 'green' school (April 3)
Michelle Obama visits Strand (April 15)
Sen. Kennedy visits Obama headquarters (April 20)
-- Sources: Adapted from original report published in the York Daily Record and gleaned from newspaper accounts and from James McClure's book:"Never to be Forgotten."