Robert A. Gleason Jr., chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, right, is shown with Vice Chairman Joyce Haas at the Spring Banquet of the Elk County Republican Party, held Tuesday night at the Royal Inn in Ridgway.
In speaking to banquet attendees, Gleason expressed confidence in Republican candidates as the primary and general elections draw nearer, the primary as soon as next week.
"The party is in good shape as we move forward. I'm very optimistic about the future, I know that we could beat [President] Barack Obama, I feel it in my bones," Gleason said.
Gleason, in his sixth year as state chairman, said it is his responsibility and that of his vice-chairperson, "to win elections."
Gleason discussed the importance of securing against voter fraud in urban centers like Philadelphia in the upcoming election after losing precincts in Philadelphia "a thousand to one" in the 2008 election. He praised new measures, including a voter ID law requiring voters to present photo ID prior to casting their ballot in addition to other measures to ensure "integrity and honesty in elections."
"We're spending a good bit of money to hire poll watchers because we can have photo ID, but if there's nobody in there to enforce it then it's not going to work," Gleason said.
Gleason said that while those measures would help election efforts, the task was ultimately in the hands of the Republican base like those at Tuesday's event.
"So, attacking that problem [voter fraud], I think will really help us, but it won't help us if you don't do a tremendous job out here to get every voter out," Gleason said.
Also speaking at Tuesday's event were Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson's campaign manager Brent Pasquinelli, state Rep. Martin Causer (R-McKean/Cameron/Potter), and state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Elk/Clearfield).