Senate candidate stumps in the NE

Tom Smith (right) a busi­ness­man from Arm­strong County dances with Joe Kam­in­ski, a mem­ber of the Trilby String Band at Smo­keEat­ers Pub on Monday, April 2, 2012. Smith is among five Re­pub­lic­ans run­ning for U.S. Sen­ate. Kev­in Cook / for the Times


Some loc­al can­did­ates and ward lead­ers joined Re­pub­lic­an U.S. Sen­ate can­did­ate Tom Smith last week dur­ing a cam­paign stop at Smo­keEat­ers Pub, at Frank­ford and Shef­field av­en­ues.

Smith, a former coal com­pany own­er, is one of five Re­pub­lic­ans vy­ing for the nom­in­a­tion in the April 24 primary. The oth­ers are dec­or­ated Vi­et­nam War vet­er­an and vet­er­ans’ ad­voc­ate Dav­id Chris­ti­an; Mal­vern busi­ness­man Steve Welch; former state Rep. Sam Rohr­er; and at­tor­ney Marc Scaringi.

Welch has been en­dorsed by the Re­pub­lic­an State Com­mit­tee.

Demo­crat­ic U.S. Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr. faces a primary chal­lenge from Joseph Vod­varka, a small-busi­ness­man from Al­legheny County.

Among those join­ing Smith at the Holmes­burg tav­ern were Mike Tom­lin­son, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict, and ward lead­ers Bill Pet­ti­grew, Jim Louis, Chris Vo­gler, Al Tauben­ber­ger, John Stal­mas­ter, Tom Matkowski, Kar­en Brown and Lee Buchanan. Tauben­ber­ger is also the GOP can­did­ate in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

A Mum­mers group greeted Smith, who de­scribed him­self as “an old farm boy” from Arm­strong County. He lives on the same farm on which he was raised. He is mar­ried with sev­en chil­dren and eight grand­chil­dren, with a ninth on the way.

Smith called for the re­peal of the health care law known as “Obama­care” and faul­ted Ca­sey for vot­ing for it.

The can­did­ate also fa­vors con­struc­tion of the Key­stone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Al­berta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. Sup­port­ers say it would cre­ate jobs and lower gas prices. En­vir­on­ment­al­ists op­pose it, and Pres­id­ent Barack Obama has re­fused to ap­prove the pro­ject.

Smith is run­ning to, among oth­er things, con­trol the growth of gov­ern­ment.

“We’ve got to get this de­fi­cit spend­ing un­der con­trol and bring that debt down,” he said.

Smith ap­plauded voters for giv­ing con­trol of the U.S. House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives to Re­pub­lic­ans in 2010.

“In 2012, we will vote out the big spend­ers in the U.S. Sen­ate,” he said.

Mean­while, the tri-state In­de­pend­ence Hall Tea Party Polit­ic­al Ac­tion Com­mit­tee board of del­eg­ates en­dorsed Smith.

“There’s no doubt that Tom Smith is on a mis­sion to re­store eco­nom­ic growth by reign­ing in gov­ern­ment spend­ing and ab­ol­ish­ing costly gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions that are chok­ing the eco­nomy and pre­vent­ing the private sec­tor from cre­at­ing jobs,” said PAC pres­id­ent Don Adams. “As an em­ploy­er in the en­ergy field, he un­der­stands what drives the eco­nomy.”


Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 has en­dorsed chal­lenger Dan Collins over in­cum­bent Demo­crat Kev­in Boyle in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

Collins, a pub­lic school teach­er and 64th Ward com­mit­tee­man, is a lifelong North­east res­id­ent who serves as CYO bas­ket­ball coach and a mem­ber of May­fair Town Watch and the May­fair Civic As­so­ci­ation. He is mar­ried with two young daugh­ters.

“We need someone who is go­ing to lead the fight for our neigh­bor­hoods in Har­ris­burg. That man is Dan Collins. Dan’s an act­ive mem­ber of our North­east com­munity, and he will serve us well as state rep­res­ent­at­ive,” said John McNesby, pres­id­ent of FOP Lodge 5.

The FOP backed Boyle over Collins and an­oth­er can­did­ate in the 2010 race. Boyle went on to de­feat in­cum­bent Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Perzel, who was fa­cing cor­rup­tion charges.

This year, Collins is back for a re­match after de­clin­ing over­tures from Re­pub­lic­ans that he run on the GOP tick­et.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Al Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce.


The South­east­ern Pennsylvania chapter of Amer­ic­ans for Demo­crat­ic Ac­tion has en­dorsed both chal­lenger Numa St. Louis and in­cum­bent Mark Co­hen in the Demo­crat­ic primary in the 202nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

St. Louis is happy with the de­cision, hav­ing already been en­dorsed by the Phil­adelphia chapter of the Na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Wo­men.

“I am the only true pro­gress­ive Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in this race,” he said.

Co­hen was first elec­ted in 1974.

No Re­pub­lic­an is run­ning.


Patrick Murphy, who is in a heated Demo­crat­ic primary for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al with Kath­leen Kane, last week won the en­dorse­ment of the Pitt­s­burgh Post-Gaz­ette and Al­legheny County Sher­iff Wil­li­am P. Mul­len.

Murphy, 38, is a former con­gress­man and Park­wood nat­ive. Kane, 45, is a former as­sist­ant dis­trict at­tor­ney in Lack­awanna County.

The ed­it­or­i­al noted that Kane has not been a pro­sec­utor since 2007.

The news­pa­per de­scribes Murphy as “well-roun­ded.” It points to his ser­vice as a judge ad­voc­ate in the U.S. Army, in­clud­ing his Bronze Medal for mer­it­ori­ous ser­vice in Ir­aq. He su­per­vised the ad­min­is­tra­tion of mil­it­ary justice in bat­talions and com­pan­ies dur­ing com­bat op­er­a­tions and co­ordin­ated the in­vest­ig­a­tion of al­leged crimes. He tried Ir­aqis in Bagh­dad’s crim­in­al court and pro­sec­uted felony court-mar­tial cases. He also served as a con­voy com­mand­er.

The Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate is Cum­ber­land County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Dav­id Freed, 41. The GOP has won every race for at­tor­ney gen­er­al since it be­came an elec­ted of­fice in 1980.


The 62nd Ward Re­pub­lic­an Com­mit­tee will hold its second an­nu­al spring cleanup on Sat­urday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The group will meet at the Dunkin’ Donuts at Tor­res­dale and Har­bison av­en­ues. The cleanup will take place on ad­ja­cent streets.

Ward lead­er John Stal­mas­ter wel­comes vo­lun­teers. He can be reached at 267-528-2256 or john@stal­mas­ 

Stal­mas­ter will also team with Bill Pet­ti­grew, Re­pub­lic­an lead­er of the 23rd and 54th wards, for a joint fund-raiser on Wed­nes­day, April 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Quaker City Yacht Club pa­vil­ion, at 7101 N. Delaware Ave.

The cost is $35, which in­cludes food, beer and the mu­sic of key­board­ist Mike Gold­man. Can­did­ates will be in at­tend­ance. Call 215-609-4535.


More than 60 groups have joined forces to edu­cate cit­izens about the state’s new voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion law.

The co­ali­tion is seek­ing thou­sands of vo­lun­teers to blanket Phil­adelphia’s 1,687 polling di­vi­sions on the day of the primary.

The law re­quires people to show photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion every time they vote. It goes in­to ef­fect in Novem­ber.

In­di­vidu­als and or­gan­iz­a­tions that want to join the co­ali­tion can con­tact Dan Bright at 215-557-3600 or dbright@sev­, or sign up at www.sev­ ••


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