Ted Cruz addresses Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

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CAMP HILL, Pa. - There's little doubt that the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference is a gathering of conservatives, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that many of the attendees on Friday came to see presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cruz stumped for votes for about 20 minutes, discussing a wide variety of topics.

"I'm here today with a word of hope and encouragement," Cruz said. "All across Pennsylvania and all across this country people are waking up and help is on the way. "

Cruz made several references in his remarks to the Keystone State, discussing the state's energy sector and the importance of retaining and adding jobs. He also played up the importance of the race here in the national picture.

In many of the previous election cycles, the Republican and Democratic nominees have usually been decided by the time Pennsylvanians go to the polls.

"The battle in Pennsylvania is going to matter," Cruz said "It's going to make a difference and our task is very, very simple. It is to unite the Republican Party."

There hasn't been much polling here in Pennsylvania, but what little there has been has Senator Cruz trailing Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

But he spoke to his conservative base at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, and supporters said they are confident he can succeed here.

"Pennsylvania has been trending very conservative in its primaries," Lowman Henry, the organizer of the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference and also the Cruz campaign state chairman, said. "We've elected the most conservative legislature in modern history and I think that also when you look at the general election, Pennsylvanians are really looking for somebody who stands for something."

Cruz campaign officials say this is the first of several visits that Cruz is planning her in Pennsylvania in the next few weeks, as he hopes to become victorious in the Pennsylvania primary on April 26th.