ABC 27 (Harrisburg)
August 8, 2012
His name is plain and he’s taking on one of the biggest political names in Pennsylvania.
But Tom Smith hopes his plain talk will upset Bob Casey Junior and make him Pennsylvania’s next US Senator.
“I’m a business person, I’m not a career politician,” Smith said at a recent get-to-know-you stop at abc27 studios in Harrisburg. “This is the first time in my life I’ve ever run for statewide office. There are many people in this state that see where we’re at, and know the career politicians have gotten us there. It’s time for a change.”
Tom Smith would be a change. He’s a farmer from Armstrong County. He’s also a former coal miner and successful businessman. His roadmap to victory includes linking Casey to what he calls President Obama’s failed economic policies. He frequently calls Casey a rubber stamp who votes with the president 95 percent of the time.
“Senator Bob Casey and President Obama, neither one of them have the first clue on how to run a business. They’ve never signed the front end of a paycheck the way us business owners have.”
Smith sings from the traditional conservative hymnal. He promises to cut business taxes and ease government regulation. But this Republican candidate was a registered Democrat much of his life. “I’ve always been a conservative. There are a lot of conservative Reagan Democrats in western pennsylvania.”…
A year ago Smith was unknown. Today, he’s an underdog. He admits his campaign is largely self financed. He’s spent ” north of $6 million” of his own money so far. He also concedes it’s tough to get national Republican donors to write checks, when they’ve all but written off Pennsylvania. Many are scared off by the power of the Casey name.
But Smith plans to run against the senator’s record, not his last name. “Bob Casey is not his father. And he has a voting record which he will have to defend. Just speaking bluntly I would not want to have to defend that record.” …This candidate has a little name recognition of his own. He’s hoping to follow the fictional path made famous by indiana county’s jimmy stewart in mister smith goes to washington.