17th Mock Convention Maintains 64-year Campus Tradition

History & Political Science Department | 04/23/2024

Ƶ Francis University staged its 17th Mock  Convention on campus on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Students originated the idea of staging a Mock National Convention in 1960 and the event has become a campus and community tradition. SFU mock conventions are held every four years for the party that is currently out of the White House.  With Democrat Joe Biden currently serving as president, SFU staged a Republican Convention in 2024. The Convention was sponsored by the History and Political Science Department, the SFU Center for the Study of Government & Law, and the Pre-Law and History Clubs.

Approximately 200 people participated, including SFU students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and staff. Students visiting from area colleges also took part. High school students from the SFU Upward Bound program also participated and played prominent roles, including students from Blacklick Valley, Cambria Heights, Central Cambria, Conemaugh Valley, Ferndale Area, Forest Hills, Glendale, Greater Johnstown, Northern Cambria, Penn Cambria, Portage Area, and Richland.

Guest speakers included PA State Representative (R-79th) Lou Schmitt, former PA State Senator John Eichelberger, Cambria County Commissioner Scott Hunt, and former Huntingdon County Commissioner Bill Hoover. The keynote address was delivered by Robert A. “Rob” Gleason, Jr., former Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

The delegates approved reports from the Credentials Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Platform Committee. According to the adopted rules, the Convention was conducted as a contested one. Republican candidates who were still in the race on Super Tuesday (March 5, 2024), Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, were eligible for the nomination on the first ballot. To secure the nomination, a candidate had to receive at least 1,215 votes. Following balloting by a roll call of states, Donald Trump narrowly defeated Nikki Haley for the nomination by a vote of 1,237 to 1,192 votes. This was one of SFU's most closely contested closest mock convention ever. The delegates went on to select J.D. Vance as Trump’s running mate.

Read more about the History of the Mock Convention at SFU.