Governor makes surprise visit to Rock fundraiser

PAT FRIDGEN
State representative Todd Rock addressed a crowd of Republican party faithfuls May 25 in Mercersburg. Guests of honor at the private fundraiser included Rep. Mike Turzai, House Majority Leader; Rep. Stan Saylor, House Majority Whip; and Governor Tom Corbett.

An estimated 100 people accepted Rep. Todd Rock's invitation to attend his fundraiser last Wednesday, and those who didn't hear the news earlier were pleasantly surprised upon arriving to discover that Gov. Tom Corbett was there. He had decided at the last minute to come along with two Republican leaders from Harrisburg. He joined House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R - Allegheny) and House Majority Whip Stan Saylor (R - York County) for an informal evening at the Mercersburg Inn to support Rock's efforts on behalf of the 90th Legislative District.

Rock was thrilled with the presence of the three. "This is a big deal."

They all mingled with the guests, lending their ear to issues of importance while enjoying appetizers served by wait staff. Eventually the group moved into one room for speeches.

"I ran on a platform to change Harrisburg five years ago," Rock began. "To get there, you have to change leadership. We did that."

The Republicans now control the House 112 to 91, and the Senate 30 to 20. Saylor credited Rock with using common sense as both parties approached important matters.

"Todd has been a leader. He respected people. They listened and followed his lead. He truly represents the people and south central Pennsylvania values, period."

Turzai mentioned accomplishments the party achieved recently, such as ending car leases for elected officials, pushing for legislators and state employees to contribute to health insurance premiums, and tightening per diem allowances. "This wouldn't have happened if we didn't have people like Todd. We're proud to be field generals and foot soldiers for the governor."

The trio, part of the body that passed a budget the day before and sent it to the Senate, had met the goals of Corbett, to cut spending by $1 billion, to not raise taxes, and to eliminate reckless spending.

Corbett also took the stage to talk about his first four months in office. He was elected Nov. 2 and inaugurated Jan. 18, succeeding Democrat Edward G. Rendell. Corbett served as Attorney General of Pennsylvania prior to that.

"I'm a supporter of Todd Rock," said guest Dan Pellicano, Greencastle. "He was one of the first politicians we supported when we moved here."

Members of the Franklin County Republican Committee were also present, including Robert Wertime for Greencastle, Ward 2 and Lynda Beckwith Blattenberger of Mercersburg. Her husband served on behalf of Peters Township, Ward 1, and they backed Rock. Joel Fridgen represented the Greencastle-Antrim school board and administrator Brad Graham and Fred Young III came for Antrim Township.

Gov. Tom Corbett chatted with Antrim Township administrator Brad Graham last week. Leaders from Franklin County were invited by Rep. Todd Rock to meet with high-ranking Pennylvania Republicans during a 90 minute social event at the Mercersburg Inn.