By Steve Svetovich
Hillary Clinton, four days prior to winning the state’s democratic presidential primary, pledged to work her heart out for the people of Pennsylvania during an empowering speech at Dunmore High School.
The Democratic presidential candidate hopeful spoke before an enthusiastic crowd of about 1,300 at Dunmore High School on Friday, April 22.
Hillary was scheduled to enter the building to the standing room only crowd at 7 p.m., but arrived about 8:15. Doors opened at 5:30 p.m. Senator Robert Casey, Jr., a Green Ridge native and Scranton Prep graduate, introduced Hillary to the energized crowd.
And a lot of energy was flowing as the song, “Let’s Go Crazy,” by the late Prince blared out.
The Dunmore High School marching band performed the National Anthem prior to the festivities.
Dunmore Mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney was on hand for the big event and Scranton Mayor William Courtright spoke to the crowd before Hillary came on. Congressman Matt Cartwright also spoke.
Hillary entered to loud cheers and dancing. She quickly reminded the crowd about her previous experience in the White House as the First Lady to former President Bill Clinton.
“History shows that the economy always thrives when a Democrat is in the White House,” she said.
She gave credit to her husband for boosting the economy when he was President.
She said the Republican candidates want to go back to “trickle down economics on steroids.”
The former Secretary of State said President Barack Obama does not get the credit he deserves for “digging us out that ditch and putting us back on solid ground.”
Hillary said she would look to end tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and promised not raise taxes for the middle class. “Because the middle class needs a raise, not a tax increase.”
She pledged to help revive a passenger railroad from Scranton to New York City.
She will take a stand for a higher minimum wage if elected President.
Hillary promised not to end Obama Care, but to tweak it with lower deductibles and costs. “We fought hard to get affordable health coverage for everyone, so we want to make sure we keep it.”
Hillary said she is unsure who the Republicans will nominate, but she is looking forward to having “a debate about economics.
She promised to fight for more money for education. She wants to fight efforts to privatize Social Security.
She was very firm in her stance to help the mentally ill and those with alcohol and drug addictions. She feels this problem has been overlooked. She pinpointed the nation’s growing heroin and opioid epidemic.
She pledged to help keep the country free from terrorists, but mocked Donald Trump’s plan to keep Muslims out of the country and Ted Cruz’s plan to build police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods.
“This place has special meaning to me,” she said, “and I will work my heart out for the people of Northeast Pennsylvania.”
Carol Scrimalli, a member of Dunmore council, was among those in attendance. “She spoke right from the heart,” she said. “She spoke about many issues that are important to me, including the common sense loophole for gun shows. She spoke about mental health issues. I think that is an important topic she addressed.”
“I think it’s a great honor she chose to come to Dunmore. It was a big event for the borough,” Scrimalli noted.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School. She was the 67th Secretary of State, serving from 2009 to 2013 under President Barack Obama. Prior to that, she was the junior United States Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. The former First Lady of the United States was a candidate in the 2008 Prsidential election.
Born Oct. 26, 1947, she has local connections. As a youth she visited her grandparents in Scranton, where her father was raised. She made many summer visits to her grandfather’s cottage at Lake Winola . Her brothers Tony and Hugh still vacation there.
Hillary won the state’s presidential primary as expected, but did not dominate over Vermont United States Senator Bernie Sanders in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. Sanders made a visit to Scranton a couple days before Hillary’s visit to Dunmore High School. Hilary garnered 22,971 votes in Lackawanna County. Sanders totaled 17,265 votes.
Hillary dined at Casa Bella Italian Restaurant in North Scranton prior to her appearance at Dunmore High School.
“It was just a privilege to have her with us in Dunmore,” said Scrimalli who had a photo taken with Hillary. “It was a heartfelt speech. It was just an exciting event.”