Romney to speak at GOP dinner April 22 in Greencastle

April 05, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to a crowd of hundreds in Antrim Township, Pa., just two days before the state’s primary election.

Romney, who is seeking the GOP nomination to the presidency, will serve as the keynote speaker for the Franklin County Republican Committee’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner scheduled for Sunday, April 22.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Franklin County to host a presidential candidate of this magnitude. I commend our party chariman for working to make this happen," said state Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York.

Committee Chairman Dwight Weidman said he rescheduled the dinner a couple times so that the organization could secure a spot on Romney’s schedule. He received word Wednesday night the former Massachusetts governor would be available April 22.

“The people here really, really appreciate when a candidate comes to see them. I think he’ll make a great impact,” Weidman said.

A dinner with prime rib and chicken breast options will be held starting at about 7 p.m. at Green Grove Gardens. A reception is being planned preceding the dinner, although Weidman said the times are being finalized.

Tickets are $50 each or $350 for a table of eight people. The event is open to the public, and tickets are available by calling 717-263-7999 or emailing

Weidman said he started talking to the Romney campaign last summer about having an event in southcentral Pennsylvania.

“We were doing a lot of back and forth,” Weidman said.

A decades-old tradition for Franklin County Republicans, the Lincoln Day Dinner is typically held earlier in the year. The event’s tickets were printed with the wrong date.

Weidman attended the opening of Romney’s Pennsylvania campaign headquarters in Harrisburg on Thursday and saw the candidate there. He talked to campaign staff members about not discounting rural areas of the state when securing votes.

“I think (the dinner) is going to make a big impact for him in Franklin County. A lot of times it’s the last guy who comes in who makes the biggest impression,” Weidman said.

In 2011, the Lincoln Day Dinner hosted former White House adviser Karl Rove, who took time to talk with many of the 500 guests. Weidman said he hopes guests have a similar opportunity this year.

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