The Montgomery County Republican Committee elected Christian Nascimento as its new chairman on Thursday.
Nascimento, a Comcast executive, ran for Congress last year against Rep. Madeleine Dean (D) and is the former president of the Methacton School Board.
“More than 500 members of the Montgomery County Republican Committee met and elected me as chairman and endorsed our slate of countywide candidates,” Nascimento said in a statement. “I am honored and energized to begin this role leading our party. While at times last night, there were disagreements, we will move forward united and focused on electing our fantastic Republican candidates up and down the ballot this year.”
Nascimento bested Stan Casacio by 111 votes. He will serve the last three years of former chair Liz Preate Havey’s term.
Havey decided to relinquish the position due to increasing responsibilities with her law practice, her position as president of the Pennsylvania Society, and campaigning for Judge Carolyn Carluccio, who is running for an opening on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
Nascimento told DVJournal he hopes to register more Republican voters.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, as of Feb. 27, there were 301,036 Democrats; 202,928 Republicans; 64,219 not affiliated; and 31,319 voters with other parties.
Nascimento said the values espoused by the GOP appeal to Hispanic voters.
“I think culturally, Hispanic people tend to lean more conservative.” But the GOP needs to reach out to that community, as well as others in the county.
“It’s about really being in front of them in a way that’s not condescending. And not just around election time, right? We need to get out in those communities and pitch ourselves and our ideas and our party 24 hours a day, 12 months of a year basis. We can’t be the party that just shows up around election time and then disappears.
“The Republican party, like all political parties, has been a little fractured at times,” said Nascimento. “One of the things I think I do a good job at is bridging gaps and building coalitions. And one of the things that I want to do is build a party that is less divided and more inclusive and welcoming and is that ‘big tent’ we’ve talked about.
“My focus is to go out and bring people into the fold, energizing our base,” said Nascimento. “And building a party structure that will support qualified candidates who will serve the people of Montgomery County well.
“We’ve got to have some fun with this,” he said. “I think we’ve got to have a happy warrior type. We’ve got to push our message, but doing it in a way that’s going to bring people into the fold, not push them away.”
As for mail-in balloting, Nascimento said it has been problematic, but the GOP must get on board if it expects to win.
“These are the rules we have,” said Nascimento. “We can’t ignore them.”
“What I tell people is if you don’t like the way that they are effectuated, then you have a decision to make,” he said. “You’ve got to go support candidates that will change that but barring that, they’re not going to go away. And so we’ve got to learn to use the tools that are at our disposal.”
The committee also endorsed candidates in the upcoming May 16 primary.
Upper Dublin Commissioner Liz Ferry and Tom DiBello, the former Spring Ford Area School District president, for county commissioner. Voters will select only two commissioner candidates for the November ballot. Joe Gale, the sitting Republican commissioner on the three-person Board of Commissioners is running for re-election but announced he did not want the committee’s endorsement.
Other endorsements included the county row offices: Charlie Rosenbaum for judge of the Common Pleas Court; Stephanie Donofry for clerk of courts; Martin Dickerson for controller; Annamarie Scannapieco for coroner, Doug Hager for recorder of deeds; and Cheryl Bonavita for register of wills.
The county GOP also endorsed Ed Moye for sheriff and Tim Mahon for treasurer.
“I am thrilled that we have a strong slate of candidates running for office with Liz Ferry and Tom DiBello leading the ticket for county commissioner. Both Tom and Liz are committed to running together to win back the courthouse unlike Joe Gale who sent a letter to the committee that Republicans should only support him because he thinks we can’t beat the Democrats,” said Havey. “For the first time in years, the Democrats are very fractured and put up two new candidates for commissioner that represent the far left of the Democrat party.
“New Chairman Christian Nascimento understands the importance of running to beat the Democrats and not throwing in the towel as the Minority Commissioner has suggested. Chairman Nascimento is a proven leader who immediately started uniting the committee after a tough election for Chair,” Havey added.